November 12, 2016

Bunch of Sweet Treats (from August to November 11th)

 The latest experiment using my new piping tips.

I haven't uploaded any pictures of the sweets I made for a few months, so here they are!
 I made this for my partner's birthday.

 Pâte à biscuits with cocoa powder and orange peel 
and chocolate whipped cream on top.

Chocolate chip cookies.

Roll cake with lingonberry butter cream and coffee butter cream.
For this butter cream, I used Italian meringue.

Broyer cookies (a kind of almond flour based cookies) 
with some jam sandwiched.
I made the one with orange zest in the dough, too, 
which turned out to have more flavor.

Butter-free madeleine with dry prune purée.
This recipe uses pureed dry prune as a substitute of butter. 

Orange upside-down cake.

This cake contains some yoghurt to reduce the amount of butter.

Butter-less madeleine with dry apricot purée.
I added diced dry apricot, too.
It tastes milder than the one with dry prune.
The one with prune has more distinctive flavor. 

Chocolate cake with chocolate ganache.

I added tiny bit of Grand Marnier in the ganache.

Orange weekend cake with orange peel I soaked in syrup for several days.

Lingonberry cheesecake.
I used a recipe from a Pennsylvania Dutch recipe book as reference.
This is sour cream based cake.

Apple pie with pâte feuilletée, a kind of French puff pastry. 

It was fun to make layers!
It is pretty rich and heavy, though.

It tastes good with vanilla ice cream. 
I put some custard cream with apples.

 Madeleine-shaped financier and Palmier (Palm-leaf-shaped pie cookie).

I made some choux pastry, too.

Finger-size cream puff and eclair with chocolate custard cream.

Here is ring-shaped choux with chocolate and lingonberry custard cream.

The chocolate custard tastes better with a hint of sour lingonberry.

Tart with lingonberry and banana.

I used pâte brisée for the tart crust.
I put some almond cream to add some sweetness 
to the contrast of sourness of lingonberry.

Mini cupcake with lemon curd and Swiss meringue butter cream. 

 I put the rest of the dough of the cupcake in the madeleine pan.

This butter cream was easy to pipe with, but tasted too buttery.
The lemon curd tasted pretty good.

I wanted to try making some roses using butter cream.
I also tried the cake flour called "Softasilk", 
which is famous among some Japanese living in U.S.A.
The cake turned out to be really soft.

I used heavy whipping cream to cover the whole cake.
I also added a little bit of lemon curd between the cake layers.

October 26, 2016

The Cutest Visitor (October 26th)

Mustela erminea (Stoat, or "Okojo" in Japanese).

Here in Fairbanks, it snowed on October 20th and 21st and the ground was covered with powder snow now.  And this morning, we noticed that there were bunch of tracks of some kind of animal by our porch, but we couldn't figure out what kind of animal left those tracks.
In the afternoon, when we brought our bird feeder inside, we found an white animal hopping around on the snowy ground.  It was an ermine!  It just kept hopping around our porch and woodshed...even under our car.  I was so amazed to see how swiftly that little animal can move and jump!

First, I thought it was some kind of white bird, 
but when I took a close-up, I noticed it was an ermine.

It likes to move around our wood shed.

It was running on the beam of the shed.
It hops and jumps on the snow...amazingly swiftly.

Here is the cropped version.
The picture is blur, but how cute its legs are!

It was so adorable!

You can compare its size with our foot prints.


It seems to like our wood shed.


September 1, 2016

Aurora Borealis (August 31st)

Aurora was going crazy above my head in our driveway.

Just before we went to bed, I went out to our porch and quickly checked out the sky, then the norther lights were really active!
The picture couldn't show the colors, but I could see some purple too this time.
It was a little bit after 11 PM and the lights stopped being active in 20 minutes or so.