Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!
Wishing you a healthy, safe and propserous 2014 to all!I hope you have all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year break with your family and friends. Over the break I’ve received a few more requests for the MatchaMisu recipe I made for Christmas 2013. Sharing the love and recipe based on Keiko Ishida Okashi recipe, it’s deliciously easy to make, just a matter of assembling!

MatchMisu (Green Tea Tiramisu)MatchaMisu

Although it can be a no-bake recipe, I chose to make my own biscuit sponge fingers to layer in the tiramisu but you don’t have to! You can also use the store bought italian sponge fingers too which I have done before and it still turns out well (on this occasion the store bought ones at home had expired when I was about to make this…) though I have found the homemade sponge fingers texture is more softer so able to absorb moisture better than the store-bought ones.

Biscuit Sponge
– 2 eggs (separate egg yolk and egg whites)
– 60g Caster Sugar
– 60g Self Raising Flour (sift twice)
– 1tsp Vanilla Bean Extract

  1. Preheat oven 200C
  2. Separate egg yolks and egg whites. Beat egg yolks with half of the sugar and all the vanilla until creamy.
  3. Make meringue with the egg whites and remaining sugar.
  4. Add one-third of meringue mixture into egg yolk mixture and fold. Add sifted flour and fold. Add remaining meringue and fold.
  5. Spoon batter into piping bag (1cm tip) and pipe 7cm (or to suit your serving dish) long fingers onto a baking tray. Dust with icing sugar and bake for 7-10min. (Bake immediately after dusting the icing sugar, don’t let the sugar melt into the fingers before baking as it will burn more easily).

MatchaMisu (Green Tea Tiramisu)
– Biscuit sponge (about 20 fingers)
– Mascarpone Filling
– 2 eggs (separate egg yolk and egg whites)
– 70g Caster sugar
– 250g mascarpone cheese
– 100g pure cream
– 15g matcha green tea powder
– hot water (around 150ml)
– Matcha green tea powder for dusting

  1. Separate egg yolks and egg whites. Beat egg yolks with half of the sugar until creamy then add mascarpone cheese and mix well.
  2. Beat pure cream to make whipping cream until stiff. Fold through whipped cream in the mascarpone mixture.
  3. Make meringue with the egg whites and remaining sugar. Fold meringue into the mascarpone mixture.
  4. Dissolve 15g green tea powder with hot water in a small bowl. Dip each biscuit sponge into the green tea mixture to soak up green tea and place in a serving dish (or individual serving cups).
  5. Spread mascarpone cheese mixture over the layer of green tea soaked biscuit sponges. Dip more biscuit sponges in green tea and layer over the mascarpone mixture. Spread remaining mascarpone mixture over the 2nd layer of biscuit sponges.
  6. Dust generously with green tea powder and refrigerate (can be kept refrigerated for about 2 days…but who can wait that long?!)

If you like red bean, you can also add a layer of azuki red bean between the biscuit sponge and the mascarpone mixture. Or if you want extra green tea flavour, add some in the mascarpone mixture as well.

Enjoy!

Sydney Food Blogger Mad Hatter Spring Picnic

So I can be terribly shy, but I worked up the courage and spent 5hours of my Saturday mingling and meeting great new people and making new friends, as well as taking loads of food photos and devouring various goodies, joining 40 or so food bloggers at a "Mad Hatter" themed Sydney Spring Picnic. It was held at Centennial Park on a gloomy looking Saturday, which may have been a blessing in disguise – if it was stinking hot my fresh cream would have melted…

It was a potluck picnic, so I had spent the night before making macarons for the 2nd time – this time I made raspberry, lemon and white chocolate macarons. The first batch I made failed and were overcooked and too crunchy… so I gave them to Helen and she loved them crunchy yay for no wastage. The batches after this were perfect but still lacking the pinkish colour I wanted, perhaps more food colouring next time. To make up for the lacklustre colour I decorated them each with a small edible rose petal. Macarons weren’t enough so I also made a chiffon cake using a blend of Earl Grey and Exotic Fruit tea (both from Taylors of Harrogate) and topped it off with fresh cream and a sprinkling of rose petals.

 
I had a freakin fantastic time on Saturday, all thanks to all the very friendly food bloggers. A big thank you to Karen from Citrus and Candy and Billy from A Table For Two (you can watch an awesome video of the hats at A Table For Two)
Also, my name tag kept falling off, so if you were there and I didn’t get around to saying hi – my name is Ayana and I was wearing Minnie Mouse ears ๐Ÿ˜€ It was nice to meet you all.

Of course being a food bloggers picnic, you’d expect the picnic spread to be amazzzing – and it was!! Everything was delicious!! Take a look for yourself as you drool over the next few photos…

 
My dish – Earl Grey tea Chiffon Cake and Lemon, White Chocolate Macarons

Sydney Food Bloggers Spring Picnic

 
AWESOME Chocolate and Salted Caramel cake by Anna from A Diary of a Ladybird

 
Mini Burgers and Shortbread Tartlets by Fat Belly Club

 
Mad Hatter cupcakes from YaYa’s Yum Yums

 
Kuih by Rosalind from Rasa Rosa

 
Cake Pops from Sugarlace

 
Broccoli Muffins from Eat Show Tell
How freakin cute is the lunch box!!!!

 
Thai Fish Cakes by Anita from No Red Meat
(Kitchen-Aid worthy!!!!!)-recipe at her blog

 
Pinataaaa
 

Thank you Bill for encouraging me to go because I had a blast ๐Ÿ™‚

Ayana’s Green Tea Macarons

Two weekends ago, I finally found the courage and pushed myself to try my hand at making macarons. I set aside a whole Saturday afternoon to make these babies and opted to make the Italian style macaron rather than the French style, because the Italian recipe seemed much simpler – equal ratios of almond meal and icing sugar.

I think watching Masterchef has instilled a fear of making macarons for me and so I had prepared myself for failure and disappointment. A good thing really because I failed… like three times ๐Ÿ˜ฆ So off I went and made three major boo boo’s:
First the almond meal was a bitch to sift through so I only sifted it once (in hindsight I should have used a food processor to grind the almond meal more) so it probably wasn’t the most fine of almond meal.
Secondly, when boiling my sugar to 118degrees EXACTLY, I had formed sugar crystals which hardened, so I had to start again. (I made toffee from the failed sugar boiling attempt though)
Thirdly I was scared to overbeat the egg mixture so I didn’t get the stiff peaks I needed = runny mixture.
 
After all the prep, I was ready to give up, but it would’ve been such a big big waste of time and effort, so I continued to pipe them. The piping was relatively easy and I had piped perfect little circles, but since my mixture was too runny the circles started to look like ovals and then just splats of mixture – oh well. Into the oven for 10mins and lo and behold – my macarons had pied!!! (Pied is the little rough frilly bit at the bottom of the shell). Unfortunately because my oven is tiny they burnt a little and the green has discoloured to a murky green with a hint of brown (I didn’t use any colouring for the shell). Quickly made some green tea ganache filling, squeezed onto one half of the shell, twisted the other half of shell on top – all done! I was really happy with the taste and the texture, crisp on the outside but chewy inside – the only disappointing thing was the look of it.
 

Guys, it was such an effort – I started at 2pm and finished at 6pm (including the washing up), but I did have a sense of accomplishment that my first attempt weren’t inedible and in fact tasted pretty good, though I was disappointed with the look of it. I was dead tired but I’ll probably try again sometime this week because I’m craving Salted Caramel macarons XP

 
Ooh they’re glossy, all piped and ready to go

 
Wafu style Macarons – Green Tea Macarons
(see how my pied/foot got burnt and a little discolouration on the top)
 

Valentine’s Day and CNY

Happy belated Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year evellibody!!!

 
White Chocolate Sponge Cake with Fresh Cream and Strawberries
(yeh yeh shut up you’re right that’s Alannah Hill tissue paper on the table)

So unfair how our offices in China get a week off for CNY  :(( which also means we have to do more work over here as well :((

Anyhoo my family doesn’t celebrate Chinese New Year … for obvious reasons but Helen’s family invited us over for dinner at her place and omg we had a FEAST of Lobsters, two Whole Fish (farmed themselves), Chicken, Pork and more Lobster .
Prior to that we had a Ping Pong match at Jase’s place (losers get hit with a Nerf gun), but even before that I started doing some Valentine’s baking for them…

 
Royal Milk Earl Grey Tea Chiffon Cake with Strawberries, Blueberries and Fresh Cream
 
Our family also received some delicious goodies from our family friend… packaged oh so perfectly but unfortunately I could not photograph well…
 
Chocolate Madeleines
 
Green Tea Macarons and Raspbery Macarons
There were also Chocolate Macarons… but I ate them… there were 4 of them too