Merry Christmas!

merry-christmas

This year’s decorated Christmas Cakes:

 

 

This post is part of the monthly link up party Our Growing Edge. This event aims to connect food bloggers and inspire us to try new things. December is hosted by Rebecca from The Economic Foodie. Theme: Festive Feeds

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Put some colour in your lunch!

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In my Miffy Bento post I referred to one of my favourite blogs Bunnyeatsdesign. Aside from blogging about her very photogenic rabbit Tofu, great recipes and other food related stuff, Genie also coordinates the monthly link up party Our Growing Edge.

You can read all about it here, but basically it’s a way to share with and inspire other food bloggers. The theme changes monthly and for August it is work day eating, so I thought to cheer up the start of the working week with a colourful lunch 🙂

In my lunch today I have covered the rice with loads of veggies like carrots, sugar snaps, broccoli and mini corn. The meat is soy marinated beef, it is called Jangjorim and very easy to make. Maangchi has a great recipe and also some examples on how to pack it in dosirak. My version didn’t have the eggs but next time I will make them with it as they are delicious as well.

This post is part of the monthly link up party Our Growing Edge. This event aims to connect food bloggers and inspire us to try new things. This month is hosted by Cheryl at Businesschic

 

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Chocolate Crunchie Cake

More cake!

I know. This blog was initially set up to show my Korean-Japanese food inspired lunch boxes, but recently I have been doing a lot more baking.  Plus, I had some of this cake for lunch 🙂

The cake was made for a colleague’s birthday last month, and I knew he likes Crunchie bars, so I wanted a cake that was inspired by those flavours: honeycomb and chocolate.

This was the first time that I made  honeycomb, and even though the recipe looked very simple… the reality was a bit scarier. It took ages for the sugar/syrup to melt, and I was afraid to turn up the heat, in case it would burn. Luckily it turned out fairly ok, a bit less crunchie than I had hoped, but still very good 🙂

How I made this cake:

First I made a Chocolate Victoria Sponge: I tend to use a very basic recipe with equal quantities egg, sugar, butter and self raising flour (225 grams, 4 large eggs) but I replaced 50 gr of the flour by 50 gr unsweetened cacao powder.  Divide equally over 2 round tins and bake for 25 minutes in preheated (180 degrees) oven until springy to touch. Cool down.

Make Chocolate Ganache. I actually still had some in the freezer from the month before which I defrosted…can’t remember the quantities, but I always use equal parts double cream and good quality dark chocolate. If you make from scratch, you can read some good guidelines on how to make chocolate ganache here. Just cool down until thick but still spreadable.

Make honeycomb: I used this recipe from BBC Good Food. Instead of buttering a tin, I used magic non stick liner / reusable baking liner which I had greased very very lightly with neutral oil. Don’t use normal baking paper, I read that it will just stick to the honeycomb. This recipe makes quite a lot, and I only used about half of it for the cake …not that I minded…I just ate the rest 🙂

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Make Honeycomb buttercream: 125 gr soft butter, whipped until creamy. Add 200-225 gr icing sugar to it and continue to mix until pale and fluffy. Add honey comb dust, which you make by blitzing 100 gr honeycomb in a food processor until you have a mixture of dust/crumbs. Do this just before you mix it into the buttercream as otherwise your dust will all clog together.

Ensemble: please make sure the cake and ganache have cooled down!

  • Take one chocolate cake for the bottom layer (I “glued” mine to the board with some ganache to avoid it moving during transport)
  • Pile on the buttercream, you can see it has become a bit golden coloured because of the honeycomb mixture
  • Carefully add the top chocolate cake layer
  • Spread the cake sides and top with the chocolate ganache
  • Decorate with some chopped up crunchie bars

P.s. the photos which also show the fruit were made by a colleague of mine, although another colleague remarked she couldn’t understand why we even had bothered putting fruit next to the cake….

This post is part of the monthly link up party Our Growing Edge. This event aims to connect food bloggers and inspire us to try new things. This month is hosted by Caroline from Shrinking Single. The theme is Treat Yourself.

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Hello Kitty Steamed Buns

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Some time ago I was invited to join Our Growing Edge, a monthly food blogging event, that aims to connect and inspire us to try new things. The rules are very simple, open to anyone, you don’t have to join each month, no prizes or winners, it’s just a way to share new experiences. To enter, the blog post needs to be about achieving a food related challenge that you have been meaning to do (or redo). That can be all kind of things, trying out a new cuisine, growing your own fruit & veg, mastering a new technique etc. As long as it is food related and new to the blogger 🙂

There are a few more rules/submission Guidelines, which you can all find here: Our Growing Edge

I have been thinking a long time about which food challenge I wanted to try. There is lots of inspiration on other blogs/Pinterest but I wanted to choose something that fitted in with my blog subject. Initially I thought of trying out a rice cooker recipe. As some of you might know, I am in LOVE with my rice cooker, but still haven’t tried to cook anything other than rice in it…

Then, this week, I saw a fantastic tutorial on how to make Hello Kitty Steamed Buns by Bentomonsters, and thought, WOW, I want to try that. I have never made steamed buns before, so this would be a great challenge! For the full recipe and step by step instructions, please see the post at Bentomonsters, her buns look much prettier than mine, but I am still quite pleased with my results 🙂

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There are a few things I learned today:

  • My steamer needs to be used more! It was hidden in the depth of my under the stairs cupboard…so I had to dust it off a bit :-). Unfortunately, it only has 1 setting, I think the buns would benefit from a slightly “lower” steam, to avoid bursting.
  • I lined the steamer with some baking parchment, which I punched a few times.
  • Dough expands! My steamed buns ended up a lot larger then I expected!!
  • Re making the buns:
    • I didn’t have the pancake mix that Bentomonsters uses, but luckily she gave an alternative recipe as well, which uses plain flour. It makes a very soft, elastic, nice feeling dough, although I was surprised that there wasn’t any yeast in it as I had seen some other steamed bun recipes that did have yeast. But it worked and tasted very good 😛
    • I would recommend covering the dough, in between various stages, with a barely wet towel, this avoids drying out. It also helps to keep the dough slightly sticky, so that  the face details don’t  keep falling off…
    • Wash your hands in between colouring the dough!!! You really have to knead the dough thoroughly to get an even colour so your hands will get quite stained… I gave Hello Kitty a green nose as I didn’t have any yellow food colouring and as I wasn’t sure whether tumeric would work or not. I also used a red colouring instead of pink for the bow.
    • I have never made steamed buns, or filled buns for that matter, so didn’t know how to pinch/pleat the dough over the filling, but I just sort of pinched it and it seemed to work fine. There was no leaking which is always good…
    • Instead of cutting the dough to create the ears, I decided to sort of “pinch” them. I cut the ears on the first bun, and unfortunately my cut was too deep or my dough too thin, and the filling spilled out. I tried to cover it up by making an extra bow, but you can see that the bun has burst
    • I had some left over coloured dough (I think that next time I would half the quantities set aside for colouring the dough), so I just made some plain buns with left over filling. Not sure how the “brown cacao” one will taste…
  • And most importantly, aside from looking cute, these buns are delicious!!! 😛

Below are my step-by-step photo’s:

It was a great new recipe to try out, and I will definitely do this again. As said, for the full recipe and instructions, see the original post at Bentomonsters. She is a very talented & creative lady and her bento’s always look amazing!

This post is part of the monthly link up party Our Growing Edge. This month is hosted by Cynthia from EatMunchLove (who, btw, has a one-pot-tomato-rice-rice-cooker recipe that sounds like an easy recipe to finally start using my rice cooker more!)

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