Let’s make the takoyaki batter. Add the salt to the cake flour in a bowl. And thoroughly mix the powder with a balloon whisk.
Gradually pour in the cold dashi stock. Mix in the flour from the center to the outside to help avoid pockets of dry flour. Using the cold dashi stock will help avoid developing the gluten and create a soft and light texture. Add the soy sauce.
Thoroughly beat the egg in a bowl and add it to the batter. Mix to combine.
Pour the batter into a pitcher.
Let’s prepare the fillings. Cut the boiled octopus into 1cm (0.4”) pieces. Squid or scallops can also be used but then it would not be called takoyaki since tako means octopus.
Cut the shrimp in half. These shrimp are already peeled and deveined. If you’re interested in how to clean shrimp, heck out our ebi chili video.
Heat a takoyaki pan to about 240°C (464°F). Pour in a generous amount of oil. Make sure to distribute the oil outside of the holes too. Stir the batter and drop in a bit to check if the pan is hot enough. Then, pour the batter into the holes.
Immediately place the octopus and shrimp into each hole.
Sprinkle on the chopped cabbage leaves, bonito powder, spring onion leaves and the beni shoga also known as pickled ginger.
When the batter around the edges of the holes begins to cook, separate each takoyaki from the pan with bamboo sticks and tilt it 90 degrees.
When all the takoyaki are tilted, fill the holes with the batter again.
Turn the takoyaki a little at a time and shape them into balls.
Now, the takoyaki are golden brown and turn smoothly with a light flick. Place each takoyaki onto a plate as soon as it is ready.
Brush them with the okonomiyaki sauce. And sprinkle on the aonori seaweed. Finally, garnish with the bonito flakes. You can also top with mayonnaise to taste.
You can also use mochi, cheese, kimchi, sausage, or bacon for fillings and enjoy a variety of flavors.
There is a much heated debate whether cabbage leaves can be used in takoyaki. If your guests are Japanese, make sure to get permission so that nobody gets upset.
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.
Peel and core the apples and cut them lengthwise into eight equal wedges. Place the apple into a pot. To make the compote, add the raw sugar and granulated sugar and lightly toss to coat. Turn on the burner. Cover and cook on medium low heat.
When the melted sugar begins to make a simmering sound, uncover and shake the pot up and down to bring the bottom of the apple to the top. This method will help to avoid breaking the shape of the apple. Occasionally mix the apple from the bottom with a wooden paddle.
After about 10 minutes, the juices should come out of the apple. Make cuts in an X pattern in the center of a clean paper towel and place it onto the apple. This is a substitute for a drop-lid, which help the ingredient cook evenly. Then, simmer for 10 more minutes.
When the apple begins to turn translucent, remove the paper towel. Continue reducing the juices without a lid. While the juices still remain, add the raisins, lemon juice and cinnamon powder.
Gently mix the ingredients. Reduce the juices until there is only a small amount on the bottom. Turn off the burner and let it sit to cool.
Now, let's make the almond cream. In a fine mesh strainer, combine the almond powder, raw sugar and cake flour. Sieve the powder into a bowl. Be sure to bring all the ingredients to room temperature beforehand.
The unsalted butter should be at room temperature also and softened in a bowl. Add the sifted powder to the butter. Combine the mixture with a spatula.
When the butter is evenly incorporated, switch to a balloon whisk. Add the beaten egg a little at a time and combine the mixture. Gradually adding the egg will help to avoid separation. Now, the almond cream is ready.
Let's fill the tart crust. Place the almond cream onto the bottom of the crust. Spread it with a spatula evenly.
Arrange the apple compote in concentric circles over the cream. The apples should slightly overlap each other. Cut the remaining apple wedges in half and fill the middle of the tart with them. Distribute the raisins on top. Gently press the apple to even out the surface.
Preheat the oven to 190 °C (374 °F) and place the tart pan into it. Bake the tart at 190 °C (374 °F) for 40 to 50 minutes. To help brown the tart evenly, rotate the pan while baking. If the surface begins to burn too quickly, cover the tart with aluminum foil to adjust the color.
When the almond cream and apple turn golden brown, it is ready. Remove and place the pan onto a cooling rack.
Let's make the glaze. Add the rum to the apricot jam and stir to mix. You can also use hot water instead of the rum. Brush the apricot glaze over the top. Let it sit to cool and then remove the tart pan.
Be sure to use apples that have a firm texture for baking. In Japan, Tsugaru and Fuji are the most popular brands for baking apples.
Alternatively, you can use other fruit such as peaches, European pears and figs.
Let's prepare the ingredients. Add the salt to a small bowl of water and stir to dissolve. Add the beaten egg and mix. Refrigerate the egg mixture, flour that has been sifted, and unsalted butter until ice-cold.
Let's make the tart dough. Place the chilled cake flour into the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter diced into 1cm (0.4") cubes. Lightly even out the ingredients.
Cover and blend the mixture for about 15 to 20 seconds. The butter pieces should be about half the size of a rice grain.
Add the egg mixture. Continue to blend the mixture for about 15 to 20 more seconds. When the mixture turns yellow and forms moist large clumps, stop the processor.
Place the mixture onto a work surface covered with a sheet of plastic wrap. Pull the edges of the plastic wrap to the center and gather the clumps into a ball. Then, flatten the dough.
Dust a scraper with bread flour and divide the dough into 4 pieces. Stack the pieces on top of each other, sprinkle over flour and flatten the dough with your palms.
Adjust the edges, shaping the dough into a disk. Wrap the dough with the plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge for 1 to 2 hours or overnight.
Transfer the dough to a work surface dusted with bread flour. Lightly flour the dough and a rolling pin. Press the rolling pin into the middle of the disk. Rotate and press it again. Repeat the process in all directions.
Roll out the dough from the middle outwards. Then, roll it out from the middle towards you. Rotate the dough 90 degrees and repeat the rolling process. If it sticks, dust the dough and rolling pin and quickly roll it out. The circle should be about 27cm (10.6") in diameter and 3mm (0.1") thick.
Flour the top of the dough again. Using a fork, pierce the dough in numerous places.
Remove the 21cm (8.3") tart pan from the freezer. Loosely roll the dough around the rolling pin. And then unroll it onto the chilled tart pan with a removable bottom.
Dust your fingers with flour and press the dough up the sides of the pan. Be sure to push the dough into the corners to remove any gaps.
Cover the rim of the pan with the dough. Then, run the rolling pin along the top of the pan. Trim the edges of the dough to fit the tart pan. Lightly press the top and sides again to firmly attach them together.
Prick the dough all over with a fork again. This will help the air to go through the dough and keep the bottom from rising. Let the tart pan rest in the fridge for 30 minutes or chill it in the freezer for about 3 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 190 °C (374 °F) and place the tart pan into it. Bake the tart at 190 °C (374 °F) for a total of about 20 minutes. To help brown the tart evenly, put on kitchen gloves and rotate the pan after about 15 minutes. Then, bake for 4 to 5 more minutes.
You will bake the crust with filling later so remove it when the whole surface is slightly browned. Place the pan onto a cooling rack. Let it sit to cool and then remove the tart crust from the pan.
This dough doesn't contain any sugar so in addition to making dessert tart, you can also make non-sweet pastry dishes like quiche with it.
First, let's make the choux batter. In a pot, combine the water, butter and a pinch of salt, and turn on the burner. Bring it to a boil on medium heat. When the butter is completely melted and it reaches a rolling boil, turn off the burner.
Add the sieved cake flour to the pot. Quickly stir the mixture. When the flour has absorbed the water evenly and the mixture begins to turn gooey, turn on the burner again. Continue to stir the mixture on medium heat until a thin film forms on the bottom of the pot.
Place the mixture into a bowl. Flatten it with a spatula and slightly cool to avoid cooking the egg. Then, gradually add the beaten egg in 4 to 5 steps. When the egg is completely absorbed, begin adding another portion.
Achieving the perfect consistency is essential to making presentable choux pastries. To prevent the batter from getting too thin, add the egg a little at a time when it reaches the final stage. Drop the batter from the spatula as shown to check the consistency. When the choux batter left hanging forms a “V” shape, it is the perfect consistency.
Next, dust the edge of a 5cm (2") diameter cup with any type of flour or starch. Then, as a rough guide, make 12 circles where the choux batter will be placed on the parchment paper.
Put the batter into a pastry bag. Hold the bag 1cm (0.5") above the circle and squeeze the batter into a round shape. Repeat the process, filling each of the markers.
Dampen your finger with water and press each peak of the batter, adjusting the shape. Finally, mist the batter with water thoroughly to help avoid drying.
Place the baking sheet into the oven preheated to 200 °C (390 °F) and bake for about 30 minutes. Remove the baking sheet. Place the choux pastries onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
Pastry Cream (net weight 500g/1.1 lb)
Let’s make the pastry cream. Cut the vanilla bean pod in half lengthwise and scrape it with the back of a knife, extracting the seeds. Then, add the seeds and pod to the milk, mix and gradually heat it on low heat. When it begins to boil, turn off the burner.
Next, lightly beat 4 egg yolks in a bowl and add the sugar. Mix the egg yolk with a balloon whisk until it begins to lighten in color.
Combine the cake flour and corn starch, and sieve onto a sheet of paper. Add it to the egg yolk and combine the mixture. Add one third of the milk to the bowl, diluting the egg yolk. Make sure to add the milk film and vanilla seeds.
Then, using a mesh strainer, strain the egg yolk into the pot of the milk. Turn on the burner. Continue mixing the pastry cream until it thickens. When it begins to form bubbles, turn off the burner.
Place the pastry cream into a tray chilled with ice. Cover it with plastic wrap. Pastry cream spoils easily so cool it as soon as possible.
Add the sugar to a bowl of whipping cream. Whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Lightly mix the chilled pastry cream in a bowl to soften. Add the whipped cream and combine. We recommend adding two thirds of the whipped cream but you can adjust the amount to taste. Mix to combine.
Make a diagonal cut in each choux pastry. Put the pastry cream into a bag. Give it a little squeeze to remove the air inside. Open the pastry and squeeze a generous amount of the cream into it. You can also simplify the filling process by spooning the cream into the pastries.
Finally, sprinkle the powdered sugar over them.
We often add rum or brandy to the pastry cream. This will increase the flavor of the cream so try it out if you like.
Squeezing the batter with a pastry bag will help to make the choux the same size and shape.