Home Cooking

Carrot Pound Cake

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Eating a piece of carrot cake with a cup of coffee always gives me a feeling of luxury due to its super moist taste and unique texture. Juicy carrot flavor mixed with crunchy walnut texture makes the perfect pound cake good for high tea time. The fact that carrot pound cake doesn’t even need any butter, milk or yogurt indeed makes baking super easy and time-saving and it surely is!

Prep Time: 15 min

Bake Time: 42 min at 170 Celsius (Convection oven)

Ingredients

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Bread: All purpose flour 170g, brown sugar 85g, granulated sugar(white sugar) 85g, canola oil 140g, chopped walnut 55g, grated carrots 200g, 2 eggs, vanilla extract  1 tsp, cinnamon powder 1 tsp, nutmeg 1/4 tsp(optional), baking powder 1 tsp, baking soda 1/2 tsp, a pinch of salt

–  Icing: Cream cheese 120g, butter 55g, powdered sugar 60g, vanilla extract 1 tsp

Preparation: Using cheese grater, grate all he carrots and sift dry ingredients twice

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Method

1. Put sugar and eggs in a stand mixer and mix them for 2 minutes at low-medium speed.

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2. Add canola oil little by little and mix well for about 1 minute.

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3. Add grated carrots and mix roughly. Carrots are incorporating well in the mixture.

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4. Add the pre-sifted dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon powder, nutmeg and salt) and mix roughly until no trace of white dry part is visible.

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5. Add walnut to the above prepared mixture

6. Pour the batter into the prepared pound pan and bake at 170C (Convection oven) for about 40-45 min(I did exact 42 min) in the preheated oven.

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7. Let cool for 10 minutes and then remove the pound cake from the pan and place on a cooling rack to finish cooling.

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Crispy outside, super moist inside, crunchy walnut texture all contribute to the success of this carrot pound cake!

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As I grated carrots, colors of the carrots are not clearly visible in this bread but the very sweetness and flavor of the carrots are all intact. So my son who isn’t really a big fan of vegetables devoured this bread without knowing that he’s actually eating plenty of carrots, haha.

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I am enjoying my carrot cake together with a homemade burdock tea from my neighbor friend and it is truly a heaven!

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I didn’t do cream cheese icing part as bread itself has enough sweetness coming from the natural juicy carrot flavor. But if you want something extra, try making this cream cheese icing following the steps below.

  1. Put room temperature cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract into the mixer and mix well until they become creamy for about 1 minute.
  2. Add powdered sugar and mix well.
  3. Add a pinch of salt or lemon juicy for a zest.

Thanks for reading my post and my next post is about homemade basil pesto sauce.

Home Cooking

Sweet potato muffins

Recently, I’ve made so many chocolate chip muffins, which are undoubtedly delicious. But I want something different to try this time and this yummy sweet potato muffins were a huge hit with family.

Prep Time: 20 min

Bake Time: 20 min at 170C (convection oven)

Yield : 12 muffins

Ingredients

– 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes, all purpose flour 210g, butter 100g, sugar 130g, 2 eggs, 100g plain yogurt, vanilla extract 6g, baking soda 2g, baking powder 8g, salt 2g

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Method : This recipe is adapted from the book whose the author runs this website “https://blog.naver.com/asy1347551”. Her recipe is amazing, only if you can read Korean, though.

1. Bake sweet potatoes for 7 minutes in oven . Cut one and half sweet potatoes as square cm size and half of one as shown in the picture.

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2. In a medium size bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and set aside.

3. In a large bowl, mix the butter and sugars and make them creamy and beat in the eggs until combined (we used stand mixer).

4. Add vanilla extract to the above batch. Beat until combined well.

5. Combine 1/3 dry ingredient into wet mixture. Stir gently and just until the flour is mixed incorporated.

6. Add 1/2 plain yogurt and combine with a mixer at a low setting.

7. Add all the remaining dry ingredient to the mixture and stir gently, don’t over stir.

8. Add remaining 1/2 of plain yogurt and stir well with a mixer.

9. Gently mix the prepared sweet potatoes with the prepared batch.

10. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake on center rack at 170C (onvection oven) for about 20 minutes .

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8. Let cool for 5 minutes and then remove the muffins from the pan and place on a cooling rack to finish cooling.

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This delicious yet healthy sweet potato muffins will give enough boost for the endless activity of your little ones! I can’t wait to see my kids’ smile when they are back from school.

 

 

Japan

Where to eat in Tokyo: budget to mid-range sushi

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When it comes to the quality and diversity of food, Tokyo is truly unrivaled. Before you are overwhelmed by the vast choice of restaurants of this mega city, you’d better turn to the tabelog, the crowed-sourced restaurant grading website. You will find yourself enormously relieved in choosing the food of your craving on each occasion.

It works similar to Yelp or Openrice, but what makes tabelog stand out is its sophistication, showing the grading scale up to 1/100, such as 3.68 or 3.94, not a simple 3.5 or 4.0 scale. Unlike inflated Yep or Openrice rating, 3.5 grade on Tabelog is considered very good, with over 4.0 rating exceptional (over 4.5 rating can be once-in-a-lifetime meal).

Below are Sushi restaurants that I’ve tried during my visit to Tokyo last Oct and Dec, 2017 and honestly, I didn’t find any single restaurant that I didn’t like in Tokyo so far. Each and every place shined with its never-compromising quality and service like a 5 star hotel.

1. Namazu Uogashi: Tokyo Station, 1F Kitchen Street, Marunouchi 1-9-1 Chiyoda, Tokyo

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One of my favorite budget sushi restaurants in Tokyo, conveniently located in Tokyo station, a serious food mecca. Various sushi sets which come with a big bowl of crab miso soup and salad were so satisfying that I didn’t even bother to find other high-end sushi restaurants during my stay in Tokyo.

Not just value for money, absolute quality of food in Namazu Uogashi left us almost nothing to be desired. Highly recommend if you want to experience local sushi place with the best bang of the buck.

2. Numazuko: 3 Chome-34-16 Shinjuku, Tokyo

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If you are new to the city and don’t know what to eat in this busy Shinjuku area, why not trying Japan’s quintessential gaiten sushi, aka conveyor belt sushi? If you are traveling with kids, it can be another focal point for entertaining them.

Conveyor-belt sushi is not high-end sushi, but as in most Tokyo’s restaurants, quality is never compromised, while delivering fresh and yummy cut of sushi at an unbelievably reasonable price.

3. Otaru Masazushi: 14F Takashimaya Times Square, 5-24-2 Sendagaya, Shibuya, Tokyo

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Mid-range sushi place in Takashimaya Time Square in Shinjuku, filled with local patrons who enjoy conversations with the master sushi chef. You will easily forget that you are right in the heart of busy Shinjuku area once you step into this restaurant perched on 14F of the fancy department store. Going to spacious underground Depachika (food hall) is an added pleasure if you like to take some sweets home along with you as gift or souvenirs.

4. Manten Sushi: 2 Chome-6-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda. Tokyo

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It is in Manten Sushi where you can taste virtually over 15 different kind of Omakase sushi at about USD 60 so it is no wonder that this place is always bustling with travellers. Good place to go if your appetite is hardly satiable with a regular sushi set and walking around this beautiful Marunouchi area will give you an ample time to digest all the food.

5. Sushi Sei: 4 Chome-13-9 Tsukiji, Chuo, Tokyo

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Good budget sushi restaurant if you are in Tokyo’s famous Tsukiji market area. Surrounded by over 50 sushi restaurants in the vicinity, it is easy to get lost but Sushi Sei did a great job satisfying my Sushi craving in an orderly and cheerful manner.

Next, I will take you to “good to great” non-Japanese restaurants that you will love in Tokyo, so stay tuned.

 

 

Home Cooking

Chocolate yogurt muffin

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I made this chocolate yogurt muffin for my daughter’s 10th birthday class party and it really rocked. (of course, helped by whipping cream added on top)! Kids loved this chocolate muffin made with flavorful yogurt and chocolate chip added double joy!

Prep Time: 20 min

Bake Time: 20 min at 170 Celsius(Convection oven)

Yield : 10~12 muffins

Ingredients

– All purpose flour 130g, cocoa powder 25g (or 45mil), butter 100g, sugar 100g, 2 eggs, plain yogurt 150g, chocolate chip 110g, vanilla extract 5g, baking powder 6g, salt 3g

Method

1. In a medium size bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, mix the butter (room temperature) and sugars and make them creamy  a couple of times for about 3-4 min.

3. Add egg yolks and whites one by one so that they mix well into the batch. Add vanilla extract.

4. Add 1/3 dry ingredients to the wet mixture 4 and mix toward vertical direction

5. Then add plain yogurt little by little (about 1/3 batch each) and mix well . Combine the remaining 2/3 dry mixture and stir gently and just until the flour is incorporated. Do not over stir. Add chocolate chips.

7. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan and bake at 170C (Convection oven) for about 20 min(I did exact 22 min) in the preheated oven.

8. Let cool for 5 minutes and then remove the muffins from the pan and place on a cooling rack to finish cooling.

Tips: If there are too much wet ingredient(yogurt or milk), muffins will fall apart, losing the texture.

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Home Cooking

Chocolate pound cake

Who can resist the homemade chocolate pound cake with its finest ingredients? Let’s make chocolate pound cake with this simple yet fall proof recipe!

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Prep Time: 30 min

Bake Time: 60 minutes /50 minutes (325F/170C)

Yield : 1 loaf

Ingredient
190g all-purpose flour, 40g unsweetened cocoa powder, 2 tsp teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/3 tsp teaspoon fine salt, 200g unsalted butter, 100g granulated sugar, 100g brown sugar, 2 large eggs, 2 egg yolks, 150g plain yogurt, 1 tsp vanilla extract, espresso coffee 10g, hot water 10g

Chocolate Glaze: dark chocolate, heavy cream

Method:

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven, making sure there are no racks above it, and heat to 325°F(170C for convection oven). Coat a 9×5-inch metal loaf pan with baking spray, dust with flour, and tap out the excess; set aside.
  2. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt through a strainer onto a bowl. Set aside.
  3. Place the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low to medium speed until it just begins to be fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  4. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Beat on medium speed until paler in color, a light caramel brown, and very fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes more.
  5. Beat in the eggs and yolks one at a time, mixing after each addition until fully incorporated.
  6. Add half of the flour mixture and beat at low speed until fully combined. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl again.
  7. Add the plain yogurt, espresso, and vanilla and beat on low to medium-low speed until fully incorporated.
  8. Add the remaining flour and cocoa mixture and beat on low to medium-low speed until combined.
  9. Transfer the batter into the prepared pan and spread into an even layer.
  10. Place the pan on its baking sheet in the oven. Bake for 55min to 65min (45-55 min for convection oven)
  11. Place the loaf pan on a wire rack and let cool until the cake is no longer warm to the touch
  12. Make the ganache by mixing heavy cream and dark chocolate in a low-medium heat.IMG_8163

Enjoy this bread with a cup of hot tea or coffee and it will be a true antidote to a hectic day!

Home Cooking

Banana chocolate chip bread

This is our go-to bread at home with its easy recipe and delicious taste. Kids enjoy this bread as their school snack(without walnuts) while I enjoy this as afternoon tea cake with a cup of camomile tea.

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Prep Time: 30 min

Bake Time: 55 minutes (170C at convection setting)

Yield : 1 loaf

Ingredients 

– 2-3 ripe bananas(2 if big, 3 if small), all purpose flour 260g, butter 120g, brown sugar 140g, 2 eggs, 120g plain yogurt, walnut 70g, chocolate chip 80g (dark and semi-sweet), vanilla extract 1 tsp, baking soda 1/2 tsp, baking powder 2 tsp, salt 1/4 tsp

Method

1. In a medium size bowl, mash bananas until creamy and set aside.

2. In a medium size bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and set aside.

3. In a large bowl,  mix the butter (room temperature) and sugars and make them creamy and beat in the eggs until combined (we used stand mixer) followed by vanilla extract.

4. Add half of plain yogurt and the mashed bananas to wet mixture. Beat until combined and mix with half of dry ingredients.

5. Then add remaining half of plain yogurt and the mashed bananas to the mixture. And add rest of the half dry ingredients and stir gently, just until the flour is mixed incorporated. Do not over stir. And add chocolate chips and walnuts.

6. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake on center rack at 170C convection oven for about 55 minutes.

8. Let cool for 5 minutes and then remove the bread from the pan and place on a cooling rack to finish cooling.

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Home Cooking

Zucchini stir-fry with garlic and olive oil

This is a very easy recipe that is also wallet-friendly, but it works great in just 15 minutes. With its sautéed garlic and shrimp paste aroma perfectly matching the smell of just-cooked rice, this lightly stir-fried zucchini in olive oil is as delicious as it gets. Let’s make this no-frills, everyday Korean side dish, which can pair easily with any kinds of food.

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Prep Time: 8 min

Cook Time: 7 min

Yield : Makes 3 servings as side dish

Ingredients

–  1 good sized-zucchini, 1/4 onion

– 1t chopped garlic, 2T olive oil, 1t shrimp paste, 1/2T chopped scallion(optional), 1/2T sesame oil, 1/2T sesame seed, a pinch of salt and pepper

Method

1. Thinly slice zucchini into circle shape and cut half to make them half-moon shape.

2. Thinly slice onion and set aside with zucchini.

3. Heat large pan for 30-40 seconds or until hot and add olive oil, followed by sliced zucchini and onion with a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir fry vegetable for 2 minutes and add shrimp paste then keep stirring another 2-3 min.

4. Add garlic and scallion to the mixture and lower heat to medium heat and keep stirring for 1 minute. Add sesame oil and quickly stir the mixture. Turn off the heat and sprinkle sesame seed. Serve immediately.

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Above-pictured zucchini stir-fry, sautéed mushrooms and shrimp with garlic and  white wine were my dinner menu tonight, with a bowl of white rice. I will share the recipe of the other two dish with you in my next post, so stay tuned!