Place the Kraft paper or bakery paper in the cardboard box wrapped with aluminum foil and distribute the coarse demerara sugar or coffee sugar crystals.
Lightly beat the eggs in a bowl with a hand mixer at a low speed. Add the sugar and mix.
Float the bowl in hot water and gradually heat the egg. When it begins to slightly warm up, remove the bowl and continue mixing. Turn off the burner and heat a glass of water.
Beat the egg at high speed for about 8 minutes until the color turns white, and it reaches a soft peak stage. When you lift the mixer, the rippling pattern should remain on the surface as you see here.
Dilute the honey with the heated water. Add it to the beaten egg and mix with the hand mixer for 1 more minute at high speed. Switch to low speed and mix for about another minute until it has a fine, glossy texture.
Distribute the bread flour onto the egg mixture. At medium speed, whip the mixture for about 2 minutes until it has a smooth texture again.
Drop the bowl a few times to break any air bubbles. Then, pour the batter into the square mold. Slash the batter with a spatula to remove any air bubbles.
Place the batter into a preheated conventional oven. For the first 15 minutes, bake at 170°C (340°F). Then, reduce the heat to 160°C (320°F) and bake it for about 50 more minutes. The baking temperature and time depend on the type of your oven, so adjust them accordingly.
Pierce the castella with a bamboo stick. If the stick is slightly moist, it is ready. When the stick is dry and clean, the castella has lost its moist texture. The moist texture is essential for delicious castella so avoid over-baking.
Remove the mold and drop it on the counter a few times to prevent the castella from shrinking. Place a tray covered with plastic wrap on top. Then, flip it over.
Before placing the tray onto the castella, we recommend making a cut along the corners of the Kraft paper and folding the edges outward. This will help avoid damaging the surface of the castella. Now, remove the mold.
Wrap it with 2 layers of plastic wrap crosswise, completely covering the castella. Let it sit to cool and then store the castella in the fridge for one whole day. This will make it moist and even more delicious.
Let’s serve the castella. Carefully remove the Kraft paper and slice off the edges. For each cut, wipe the knife with a dampened towel to help make a clean cut.
Cut the castella in half. Then, slice it into 3cm (1.2") pieces. Arrange the pieces onto a plate.
We will show you how to make the homemade mold for castella. This is the Kraft paper with 4 slits.
The cardboard box is wrapped with aluminum foil.
To wrap the box, carefully cover it with a long strip of aluminum foil.
Then, cover it with another aluminum strip crosswise. If you don’t have a square cake pan, try making it as shown.
All-purpose flour or cake flour can be also used but we recommend using bread flour to help create a moist and kind of gooey texture.
You can keep the castella in the fridge for 1 week or store it in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Castella goes great with green tea, coffee or black tea and it is a perfect gift for special occasions.
First, make a space in the center of the sticky rice flour and add the sugar to the spot. Pour in about half of the water and dissolve the sugar.
Mix in the flour from the center to the outside while gradually pouring in the rest of the water. If the dough is too soft or too firm, it’ll be difficult to wrap the filling so add the water a little at a time. Mix until all the flour is moistened.
Rub your hands with a small amount of sesame oil and remove the dough. Roll it into a cylindrical shape. And cut the dough into 5 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball.
Press the center of each dough ball, making an indention. Enlarge the hole until the anko ball fits.
Add the anko, sweet bean paste and spread the dough around it.
Make sure that the dough has an even thickness and shape it into a ball. Repeat the process for the rest of the anko balls.
Slightly dampen each dango. And coat it with sesame seeds.
Gently press the dango and the sesame seeds together. If the dough is relatively soft, wetting might not be necessary. Repeat the process and you’ll have 5 goma dango.
Let’s deep-fry the dango. Heat the oil to 140~150 °C (284~302°F) and place the dango into a pot. With kitchen chopsticks, rotate the balls while cooking. This will help the dango to rise evenly, giving them a round shape and even color.
Treat the goma dango gently like your first date so the sesame coating does not fall off. Cook the dango for a total of 4 to 5 minutes and then turn the heat to hight.
A tip to making crispy goma dango is to deep-fry at relatively low temperature and then bring up the heat at the end. If the oil temperature is too high, the sesame seeds will burn before the dough cooks.
When the surface is deliciously browned, they are ready. Remove and drain the excess oil.
The anko mixed with walnuts or ground sesame seeds is also delicious so you should definitely try it out.
You can also use pumpkin or sweet potato paste instead of the bean paste.
The freshly-made gooey dango are delicious but the sweet bean paste inside is piping hot so be careful not to burn your tongue.
We are making moist and fluffy Chiffon Cake. Enjoy it along with whipped cream or custard cream. They will go great with this cake. You’ll be able to make many different versions so it’ll be fun to master this basic recipe.
Beat the 5 egg yolks in a bowl. Add the sugar and dissolve it completely. Add the vegetable oil and mix. Then, add the milk and combine the mixture well.
Combine the cake flour and baking powder and sieve it one time beforehand. Sieve the flour once more into the bowl of the egg mixture.
With a balloon whisk, mix in the flour. Avoid any pockets of dry flour and give the batter a smooth texture.
Let’s make the meringue. Lightly beat the 6 egg whites in a bowl. Add one third of the sugar. Continue to beat and add another third. Then, add the rest of the sugar. The egg white should begin to have a glossy texture.
When the meringue is created, slow down the hand mixer and break the relatively large bubbles into foam. Beat the meringue until it reaches a stiff peak stage.
Add one third of the meringue to the batter. And thoroughly fold in. This will make the batter slightly soft and help to combine the rest of the meringue.
Add the rest of the meringue. And quickly fold in the batter again but avoid breaking the foam to create a light and fluffy cake.
Now, the batter is ready. Pour the batter into the angel food cake pan. Avoid coating the pan with butter or any oil. If the pan and the cake are not firmly attached together, the cake is less likely to hold its height.
Mix the batter with bamboo sticks to remove any pockets of air inside otherwise they will puff up and create hollows in the cake. Additionally, drop the cake pan onto a flat surface several times to remove the remaining air.
Before making the batter, make sure to preheat the oven to 170°C (340°F). Place the pan into the oven and bake at 170°C (340°F) for about 50 minutes.
Remove the cake pan from the oven. Flip the cake over and place it onto a cooling rack. Chiffon cake is a relatively tall cake so cool it upside down to keep it from shrinking due to the weight.
The chiffon cake is completely cooled. Insert an icing spatula between the cake and the pan. Slide the spatula along the edge. Likewise, using a small icing spatula, detach the cake from the center of the pan.
Flip the cake pan over and gently remove the side of the pan
Run the spatula along the bottom. Flip it over again and carefully remove the bottom of the pan.
Place the whole chiffon cake onto a plate.
Cut a piece of cake. And place it onto a plate along with the blueberries and whipped cream. Finally, sprinkle on the icing sugar.
Two tips to making chiffon cake successfully are creating the perfect meringue with a stiff consistency and removing any pockets of air in the batter.
Oven safe paper angel food cake pans are also available. If you don’t have a large angel food cake pan, use the paper pans or muffin cups instead.
Gradually heat the whipping cream using a bain-marie (hot water bath).
Meanwhile, break the chocolate bars into small pieces. We recommend using dark bittersweet chocolate but you can also use sweet or milk chocolate.
Stir the whipping cream with a spatula 2 to 3 times. Just before it begins to boil, remove and place onto a trivet. Add the chocolate pieces to the cream.
Mix thoroughly and dissolve the chocolate. We used 36% fat whipping cream for this recipe. The light whipping cream has a rich flavor and also causes less separation. Gently mix to keep it from separating.
When it is smooth, add the brandy or rum and continue to mix.
Remove the bowl from the bain-marie and allow it to sit to cool. When cooled, firm up the chocolate completely in the fridge or freezer.
The nama chocolate is completely firm. Using a spoon, shape the chocolate into a small ball and then place it into a glassine paper candy cup.
Repeat the process and now you have 4 pieces of nama chocolate. Sprinkle on the cocoa powder.
Finally, place them into a truffle box.
Nama chocolate might separate for various reasons so we recommend making a small amount for your first time and following each step shown in the video.
We used 36% fat whipping cream for this recipe. The light whipping cream has a rich flavor and also causes less separation.
Let’s make the batter. Combine the cake flour and the baking powder and mix it with a balloon whisk. Then, sieve the flour into a bowl with a mesh strainer.
Beat the whole egg in a bowl. Add the sugar and mix to dissolve. Pour in the milk. Add the vegetable oil and the vanilla extract. Thoroughly mix the ingredients.
Make a shallow hole in the flour and pour in the egg mixture. With a balloon whisk, gradually mix in the flour from the center to the outside. This will help avoid pockets of dry flour.
When the flour is completely moistened, it is ready.
Let’s make the pancakes. Thinly coat a pan with vegetable oil using a paper towel. Turn on the burner and heat the pan. Then, with a sizzling sound, slightly cool the pan on a dampened kitchen towel. This will help to brown the pancakes evenly.
Ladle the batter into the pan. And cover.
When small bubbles begin to form on top and the bottom is golden brown, flip it over and cover again.
A tip to make the both sides puff up is to do this when the top is still in a fluid condition. Now, it is ready.
On a plate, place 2 pancakes on top of each other. Dust the pancakes with icing sugar. Place a dollop of whipped cream on top. And spoon the vanilla ice cream onto it.
Sprinkle on the diced almonds. Add a small amount of whipped cream. Finally, garnish with the mint leaves. Enjoy the pancakes with the maple syrup.
Avoid thickly greasing the pan to keep the pancake from having a patchy pattern. If you are using a non-stick pan, additional oil may not be required for the second pancake.
When the batter is too thick, add milk a little at a time to adjust its consistency.
Let's make batter for Dorayaki. Crack the room temperature eggs into a bowl and lightly beat with a whisk. Add sieved Johakuto white sugar and honey to the beaten egg. Pre-warm the honey if it is too thick to mix in.
Beat the egg mixture for about 3 minutes. The color will turn light yellow and the texture will slightly get thicker. Dissolve baking soda in water. Add it to the egg mixture and mix.
Put the cake flour through a sieve. Mix in the egg mixture with the whisk. Get rid of any lumps of flour but be careful not to over-mix.
Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and rest the batter for 30 minutes.
Let's adjust the thickness of the batter. Using the whisk, let the batter flow into the bowl to check its thickness. Add 1 teaspoon water (not tablespoon), mix, and see if the batter is in ideal thickness. Repeat this process until the batter flows like shown in the video.
Heat an electric griddle at about 340°F (170°C) and lightly oil the surface. To brown dorayaki evenly, thoroughly wipe off any excess oil with clean paper towel. Drop the batter onto the griddle in 9cm (3 1/2") diameter circles. Let the batter spread into circles naturally and you will get perfectly round dorayaki.
When small bubbles pop up on the surface of the batter, flip them over.
Bake about 20 seconds on the other sides and place the pancakes on a cooling rack.
Cover with a damp kitchen towel to keep the pancakes moist.
Let's make whipped cream anko (red bean paste). Put a bowl of whipping cream in ice water and add sugar. Whip the cream with an electric hand mixer for 2 to 3 minutes until stiff peaks form. Clean the hand mixer and remove the bowl from ice water.
Add about 100g (3.5 oz) packaged red bean paste to the whipped cream and gently mix in with a rubber spatula.
Let's make regular Dorayaki. Take the pancakes and hold, lightly browned side facing up. Spread spoonfuls of anko on the middle of the pancake. Place another pancake on top and press around the edges to shape. Serve it on a plate.
Here is Whipped Cream Dorayaki, Nama-Dorayaki. Put Whipped Cream Anko between two pancakes and shape with your hands. Serve it on the plate.
When baking pancakes, set the griddle at about 170°C (340 °F). Higher temperature would cause pancakes to burn easily and lower temperature would make them hard and dry.
Both kinds of Dorayaki can be stored in a freezer and they can be thawed at room temperature. When frozen, each Dorayaki wrapped with a plastic wrap should be put in a zipper storage bag.
We highly recommend Whipped Cream Dorayaki. Red bean paste also goes great with butter and chestnuts.
Let's make the cookie dough first. Whisk the butter until creamy. Gradually add the sugar, mix and dissolve in the butter.
When the color turns to white, gradually add the beaten egg and mix. Do not add the egg at once, otherwise the butter will separate. Bring the butter and egg to room temperature before use. This will make them easier to mix and the sugar will dissolve better.
Add the baking powder to the cake flour and mix with a spatula. Sift the flour mixture into a bowl. Sift it again.
Add one third of the cake flour to the butter mixture. Lightly mix with a spatula. Add another one third of the flour and lightly mix. Add the rest and stir until all the flour is thoroughly mixed. Be careful not to overmix the dough.
Place the dough on the cooking tray covered with plastic wrap. Rub bread flour on your hands and shape the dough into a cylinder. Cover with the plastic wrap. Cool down the cookie dough in a fridge for over 1 hour.
Let's make the bread dough next. Add the sugar, salt, non-fat dry milk powder and instant yeast to the bread flour. Whisk the flour mixture well. Dilute the beaten egg with the warm water. Gradually pour it into the flour and stir with a spatula until evenly mixed.
Clean the spatula with a scraper and place the flour mixture on a pastry board. Gather the crumble flour mixture and form it into a ball. Briefly knead it with your hands.
Throw the dough on the pastry board, fold it away, grab the side of the dough and throw it again. Gather the dough with the scraper. Knead the dough with your hands using your body weight. Repeat this process until the dough is less sticky.
Flatten the dough and spread on the butter. Gather the rim of the dough toward the center and knead in the butter. When the butter is mixed in, gather the dough with the scraper and form a dough ball.
Like shown before, continue to throw the dough on the board. Knead the dough on the board and throw again. Repeat this throwing and rolling process for 10 minutes. The dough is now smooth and glossy.
As shown in the video, shape the dough into a ball and replace it in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm place for 40 minutes. This conventional oven can keep its inside warm for fermentation.
The dough has now risen by 50% in volume. Remove the plastic wrap. Dip your finger in bread flour and make a hole in the dough. If the hole quickly disappears, the dough needs more fermentation. Measure the dough to get the total weight.
Dust bread flour on the pastry board and put on the dough. Flatten the dough and remove the gas inside. Roll the dough into a long cylinder. Divide the pre-measured dough into 5 even pieces. Make sure they are equal in weight.
Spread the dough toward the other side of the cutting surface. Shape each dough piece into a ball. Make sure the bottom is tightly closed. Line up the dough balls on the cooking tray dusted with flour. Cover with plastic wrap and let them rest for 20 minutes at a room temperature.
In the meantime, let's shape the cookie dough into round sheets. Divide the dough into 5 pieces. Measure each piece and make sure they are equal in weight. Put a bit of bread flour on your hands and shape each dough piece into a ball.
Place the ball on plastic wrap, cover with another wrap and press with the side of the scraper. Placing a three and a half inch diameter drawing under the wrap will help you get an equal set of cookie sheets.
Line up the cookie sheets on the cooking tray dusted with flour. Sit the tray in the fridge while the bread dough is resting. This will make the cookie dough easier to handle.
Let's shape the dough into Melonpan. Reshape each bread dough into a ball, cover with the cookie sheet and adjust the shape. Hold the dough upside down and stretch the cookie sheet up to the center.
Pinch the bottom of the bread dough and dip the cookie dough in sugar. Hold the Melonpan on your palm and make a diamond pattern on top with the scraper.
Line up the Melonpan on the baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
Let the Melonpan sit in the warm place for the second fermentation. This conventional oven can keep the inside at 37 °C (99 °F). After 40 minutes of the second rise, the Melonpan are almost doubled in volume.
Let's bake the Melonpan. Preheat the conventional oven at 170°C (338 °F) and bake the Melonpan for about 12 minutes. When each Melonpan gets slightly brown on top, remove the baking sheet from the oven. Cool them down on a cooling rack and they are ready to serve!
You can also let the dough rise in a styrofoam box filled with warm water. In that case, cover the bowl with a plastic bag and make sure the steam won't wet the dough.
The fermentation time depends on its temperature so be careful not to over-rise the dough.
Let’s make the caramel sauce for custard pudding. Coat the inner surface of the custard cups with unsalted butter. This will make it easy to remove the pudding from the cups.
Put the sugar and water in the pot. Heat the pot at medium heat. Let it sit until the surface becomes lightly-colored. Swirl the pot and even out the sugar liquid. Caramelize the sugar like shown in the video and remove the pot from the heat.
Quickly add the hot water in 2 to 3 steps with a long-handled ladle. Tilt the pot away from you to avoid hot caramel sauce splashing and burning your hand. Swirl the pot and even out the hot caramel.
Pour the caramel evenly into the custard cups.
Let’s make the egg mixture for pudding. Crack the two eggs into a bowl. Lightly beat the egg with a balloon whisk. Don’t let the tip of the whisk leave the bottom of the bowl to avoid creating too much foam.
Add the milk and sugar in a pot. Turn on the burner. Stir with a spatula until all the sugar is dissolved.
Add the milk to the beaten egg while whisking the mixture.
Sieve the egg mixture with a fine mesh strainer. Scrape off the bottom of the strainer with a spatula. Remove any foam on the surface with a spoon. Pour the egg mixture into an easy-to-pour container.
Let’s steam the egg mixture. Gently fill the custard cups with the egg mixture. Cover each cup with aluminum foil. The foil will prevent the surface from getting dry. It will also help steam the pudding evenly.
Heat water in a pan and gently place the cups in it. The kitchen towel will soften the heat at the bottom. There should be enough hot water to cover the bottom half of the cups. Put the lid on.
Keep the water temperature just below the boiling point and steam the pudding for 18 to 20 minutes. Do not bring the water to boil otherwise the smooth texture of the pudding will be lost. Put kitchen gloves on and remove the custard cups. When they become cool, store them in the fridge.
Let’s serve the custard pudding. Scrape the side of the cup with the tip of a knife. Tap the cup on a kitchen towel and make a space around the pudding. Serve the pudding on a plate.
The color of caramel quickly changes over the heat so timing is important when adding the hot water.
Before you start to prepare the batter, preheat the conventional oven to 160°C (320°F). Line the bottom of the cake pan and the side with the parchment paper.
Put the eggs in a large bowl and beat them with a hand mixer at low speed. Add the sugar at once and beat the mixture for about 30 seconds.
Dip the bowl in hot water and beat the egg at high speed for 1~2 minutes. Temperature around 70~80°C (160~175°F) is ideal for the hot water. In this way, the egg mixture won't get too hot. Put your finger in the mixture. If it feels warm enough, take the bowl away from the hot water.
Add the milk to the unsalted butter and warm it up in the hot water.
Continue to beat the egg at high speed for 3~3.5 minutes until it forms a rippling pattern on the surface. As you lift the mixer, the mixture falls back slowly and seamlessly and the trail does not go away immediately.This stage is called soft peak.
Swap the hand mixer with a balloon whisk and mix the egg evenly. Shift the pastry flour into the bowl. Gently mix the flour from the bottom with a rubber spatula. Try not to break the foam and scoop up the batter about 30 times.
When all the flour is mixed in, pour the pre-heated butter mixture evenly over the batter. Scoop up the batter and gently let it fall from the spatula. Repeat this process about 50 times to mix.
When the batter gets glossy and smooth, pour it into the cake pan at once. Drop the cake pan a few times to break any air bubbles in the batter.
Place it in the preheated oven and bake at 160°C (320°F) for about 23 minutes. Remove the sponge cake from the oven. Pierce the cake with a bamboo stick and check if the batter isn't on it.
Drop the cake pan a few times to prevent the sponge cake from shrinking. Cover the cake with wax paper, flip over and let it cool down on a cooling rack. When it becomes completely cool, lift and remove the cake pan. Flip over the sponge cake and remove the wax paper.
Let's prepare the soaking syrup. Dissolve the sugar in the hot water and cool it down. Select 8 good-looking strawberries for topping and remove the stem ends. The rest of the strawberries will go between the cake slices. Remove the stem ends and slice them lengthwise into half inch slices.
Let's prepare the whipped cream. Add the sugar to the whipping cream. Dip the bowl in ice water and whip the cream with a balloon whisk. A hand mixer can easily over-whip the cream so we like to use the whisk. As shown in the video, whip the cream until in the 'soft peak stage'.
Let's frost the sponge cake with the whipped cream. Peel off the parchment paper and place the cake on a cake turntable. Before you divide the cake in half, draw a line along the side while rotating the turntable. Slice the cake horizontally along the line so that you'll get a clean cut. Place the upper cake slice on the rack with the cutting surface facing up.
Add the kirsch to the cold premade syrup. Brush the bottom cake slice with the soaking syrup. Repeat and let the other half soak the syrup.
Drop the whipped cream on the bottom cake slice. Spread the cream on the surface with a frosting spatula. Cover the cream layer with the sliced strawberries.
Drop the whipped cream on top and spread evenly. Add extra whipped cream to cover the strawberries completely.
Stack the upper cake slice on top with the syrup-soaked side facing down. Apply the syrup to the very top of the sponge cake.
Drop a generous amount of whipped cream on top. Spread evenly with the frosting spatula while rotating the turntable.
Grip the spatula vertically and cover the side evenly with the cream. Slide the spatula across the cake while scooping up the cream. Move the spatula diagonally towards your upper right, creating a decorative surface on the side. Finally, slide the spatula on top from the rim to the center, trimming the shape of the round cake.
Let's decorate the cake. Prepare the pastry bag with a star-shaped tip. Put the whipped cream in the bag. Give it a little squeeze to remove the air inside. As shown in the video, decorate the rim of the cake in a rippling pattern while rotating the turntable.
Squeeze out the cream for the strawberries to go on top later. Put the tip of the frosting spatula on the cake turntable, rotate and scrape off the excess cream.
Lift the cake with the spatula and serve it on a cake plate. Place the strawberries on top.
Sprinkle on powdered sugar to create the look of snow. Finally, place the Christmas ornaments on top and it is ready to serve!
Measuring the baking ingredients by weight is absolutely necessary so make sure to use a proper scale.
The measurements and whipping time for the batter are critical to make a sponge cake. If they are not accurate, the sponge cake will become flat.
Let the cake cool down in the cake pan as it will keep the sponge cake moist.
We recommend using the real whipping cream with no additives. It is rich-flavored and far more tastier than non-dairy alternatives.
The baking time depends on various factors for example the size of round pan and the type of oven you use. We recommend keeping your eyes on the cake while baking.
If the height of sponge cake is not enough, you might want to bake another sponge cake so that your Christmas cake will have 3 or 4 layers.