Monday, October 17, 2011

Chestnut Cake With Ganache Filling and Lacquer Glaze

This glaze has intrigued me since I borrowed Rose Levy Beranbaum’s newest book, “Rose’s Heavenly Cakes”, which received “Cookbook of The Year” award and was also the winner in the “Baking: Savory or Sweet” category at 2010 IACP Cookbook Awards. Very well deserved.   I finally had the opportunity to make it for Sandra's birthday.  I used this glaze to replace the chocolate glaze suggested in Dorie Greenspan's Chocolate Caramel Chestnut Cake from her book - Baking From My Home to Yours.  I made the cake following the cake recipe and baked the cake in Wilton's Fanci-Fill Cake Pan.  As suggested by Rose, the cake should have a Ganache Coating as the Glaze will show the slightest imperfection.  I would have loved to coat my cake with Ganache but had instead coated with Chocolate Buttercream cos i ran out of heavy cream and had enough heavy cream only to make the filling -  the Chocolate Caramel Ganache(i could only make 1/2  recipe) 

The Lacquer Glaze was so very shiny (you can see my reflection on the cake) and went well with the cake making it so stunning.  You might notice I left the top alone - I thought  it was starkly beautiful but i can't say the same of the sides to my cake. I had to decorate the sides with sugarpaste flowers.


Friday, October 14, 2011

Rice Cake Soup / 떡국 / Ddeokguk

When i cooked Ddeokbokki, i had to cook Ddeokguk, a soup filled with soft Korean rice cakes (Ddeok).  Ddeokbokki was too spicy for my grandchildren.  Renee will not try it , Alexander said that his palate is more mature and tried a piece. You should see his face turned red and his eyes rolled big from the spiciness.  He reached for his Sprite and gave a big smile.  We praised him for being so brave and he was beaming with pride.  Luckily Ddeokguk is simple to cook.  This again might not be what most koreans expect Ddeokguk to be but give this recipe a chance, you might like it as much as Renee and Alexander did.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Ddeokbokki - Stir Fried Rice cake with Gochujang Sauce

What is the difference between 'Ddeok' and 'Nian Gao'?  'Ddeok' is of Korean origin and 'Nian Gao' is chinese(Shanghainese).  The only similarity is that they are both Rice Cake, the shapes might defer but the texture of the cake is the same - bland and chewy.  You might be surprised to hear that ddeokbokki (Korean) originated from the royal palace in the Chosun dynasty. At that time they used soya sauce instead of gochujang paste, and the King had this Gungjung Ddeokbokki on New Year's day. Gungjung means “palace” in English.  The chinese too serve this 'Nian Gao' on New Year's day, is this coincidental or what?????.  There you go!

This Ddeokbokki that i am sharing will probably taste a bit different from the ones you may have tasted before but you should definitely give this a try. It has a very clean, spicy and sweet taste that’s quite addictive.  Be prepared to have alot of jaw exercise and my apologies to all who have partials.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Korean Seasoned Spinach (Sigeumchi Namul)

 Remember Popeye?   I do cos i was called Olive, his girlfriend, for the longest ever.  I supposedly looked like her in my teens, skinny as a stick, tall with a small head.  Popeye, the cartoon character Popeye the Sailor Man ,  is portrayed as having a strong affinity for Spinach.  He squeezes cans of spinach into his mouth and instantly developed muscles and super strength  becoming physically stronger after consuming it. he may have been protecting himself against various illnesses as Spinach has a high nutritional value and is extremely rich in antioxidants, especially when fresh, steamed, or quickly boiled. 

Sigeumchi namul is a simple Korean side dish made with spinach. Namul is the general term that refers to a seasoned vegetable dish, and sigeumchi is spinach. There are many recipes to this dish.  Although the cooking method and seasonings vary, the vegetables are typically blanched first and then dressed with seasonings. This is my version of this side dish which i love to serve.

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