Foodie Friday: Ginger Cake

Ginger cake: local baked goodie made with lots of ginger and spices This is a kind of cake roll made specially at a local bakery. My friend told me that it’s a seasonal item. The rich spices, which include a heavy dose of ginger, provide winter immunity. It’s got a ton of flavor, including ginger, cloves, and cinnamon. Think of it as the baked love child of a cinnamon roll and a gingerbread cookie. Delicious and good for you? That’s a winner in my book! … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Obanyaki

Obanyaki: mini stuffed pancakes These puffed-up Japanese pancakes open up to reveal delicious interiors. Custard or red bean paste is often used as a filling inside the round treats. They're quite similar to taiyaki, except without the stylized fish shape. Though they're often eaten for dessert, tweaked recipes make them more savory by inserting meat, vegetables, or curry. Want to see how they're cooked? Fun fact: They're named after the Oban coin. … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Ube Soft Serve

Ube soft serve: purple yam ice cream When it gets hot during the summer, I turn to cool things. And what's cooler than an amazingly bright purple ice cream? Yep, it's ube soft serve. Ube is a type of root vegetable (chock-full of vitamin C, thank you very much). As expected, it tastes earthy, much like sweet potato and taro. The brilliant thing (I couldn't resist) about ube is its lovely color! The hue just makes you smile. A lot of Filipino desserts will incorporate ube in their … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Japanese Cheesecake

Japanese cheesecake: light, airy cake with a hint of sweetness I heard the hype surrounding Japanese cheesecake, so I dropped by a branch of Uncle Tetsu's (est. 1985) to try a slice. I must admit, it's an adorable cake (I mean, look at the cute chef stamped on it!). The cheesecake tastes more like a fluffy sponge cake, with intense cheese flavor that overpowers the slight sugar in the recipe. Sorry, Uncle Tetsu, but I just didn't enjoy it. Maybe because I was expecting the typical … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Sugar Pie

Sugar Pie: super sweet single-crust dessert When I visited Canada, I tried a traditional Canadian dessert: sugar pie. I’d never heard of it before. I love the coloring of the deep brown in this dessert. It reminds me of fall and leaves fluttering off trees. The sugar pie lives up to its name. I hear it can be made from brown sugar or maple syrup. (You can try one version of the recipe here.) Warning: This dessert is super sweet! The sugar overload on my taste buds prevented me from … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Mango Lychee Mousse

Foodie Friday: Mango Lychee Mousse This is a really fun dessert! As you can see, there are yummy chunks of mango on top. There are even a few lychee bits buried like treasure on the bottom. The whole thing is actually really light because of the mousse texture. Unfortunately, because of this, it feels insubstantial, like you can't really taste the dessert part of it, just fruit. I'd have preferred maybe a bit of cake to ground the flavors. Overall, a visually pleasing dessert. … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Eight Treasure Dessert

Eight treasure dessert: sticky rice decorated with 8 toppings I admit it. This is a really pretty dish! I usually think of sticky rice as part of the main course, but I've found it in a dessert now. The eight "treasures" are different fruits and nuts that go on top of the rice. Often, they serve some sort of symbolism (e.g. lotus seeds bring happy marriages). Inside the dessert is a sweet surprise of red bean paste. Although I'm not a huge fan of red bean desserts, this does have a nice … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Mochi Donut

Checking out... Mochi donuts: mini donuts made with mochi and filled with cream I know what you're thinking...How can mochi be made into a donut? Well, these cute treats can be found at Mochi Cream bakeries. Instead of the usual outer dough layer, the donuts feature a covering made from glutinous rice. They must add something to harden the texture, though, to give it shape. Maybe a type of glaze? Inside, there is a flavored cream layer, similar to that found in a cream puff. Of course, … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Chestnut Cake

It's been a while since I've had roasted chestnuts. They make me think of winter and Christmas songs. But I did go for some chestnut cake recently. Chestnut cake: soft pastry with chestnut paste It's a sweet offering that uses chestnut paste in the middle of soft doughy layers. The Japanese chestnuts used on the inside are a bit like sweet potato in taste and density. Thumbs-up! Fun fact: Besides being eaten by themselves, chestnuts can be incorporated in a Japanese rice dish … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Taiwanese Snow

So there's no snow in Cali (except up in the mountains). When I want to cool down, I grab some shaved snow. Shaved snow: cold and creamy dessert I love how it has a silky soft texture instead of the harder quality of shaved ice. Snow seems to consist of almost ice-cream-like pieces that melt in your mouth. Yummy! How do you stay cool? … [Read more...]