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.
Let’s cut the ingredients. Cut the yaki dofu, grilled firm tofu into bite-size pieces. Remove the stems of the shiitake mushrooms and cut the caps into bite-size pieces. Remove the stem ends of the enoki mushrooms. Then, tear the enoki into small pieces.
Slice the white part of the spring onion leaves using diagonal cuts. Cut the green part into 5cm (2") pieces. Slice the onion perpendicular to the grain into 1.5cm (0.6") slices.
Cut the ito konnyaku noodles in half. Heat a pot of water and place the konnyaku into it. Lightly simmer the ito konnyaku for about 30 seconds. This will help to remove the excess water and absorb the broth later. Remove and strain the konnyaku in a mesh strainer.
Let’s cook the sukiyaki. Heat the beef fat in a pan on medium heat and coat the bottom with the oil. Reduce the heat and add the sugar.
Distribute the thin beef slices. When the beef is half cooked, drizzle on the soy sauce. Then, quickly beat the egg in a bowl.
Flip the beef slices over and combine the sugar and soy sauce. The meat is the most delicious state now so make sure to enjoy it. Dip the beef into the egg and enjoy the meat!
Place the beef on the edges of the pan. The caramelized sugar makes the additional ingredients more delicious. Add the yaki dofu, ito konnyaku, shiitake, enoki mushrooms, onion and spring onion leaves.
Add more beef slices. Adjust the heat frequently and keep it below medium heat. If the ingredients come close to burning, pour in a little sake to cool things off.
Sprinkle some sugar onto each ingredient. Drizzle on the soy sauce. Pour the sake over the ingredients.
Turn the heat to medium and occasionally flip the ingredients over to cook evenly. It’s ready to serve. As soon as each ingredient is cooked dip them in the egg and enjoy the sukiyaki.
We will show you how to add the ingredients to the sukiyaki. For example, adding the spring onion leaves. When you place new ingredients into the sukiyaki, add the seasonings for them. Sprinkle on the sugar. And add the soy sauce. Combine the seasonings, and the spring onion leaves are ready.
When you’ve fully enjoyed the vegetables, add the udon noodles at the end. Add a small amount of sake, sugar and soy sauce. Allow the udon to absorb the remaining sauce and enjoy it with the egg.
You might think that seasoning each ingredient with the sugar and soy sauce is a cumbersome process but it will make it easy to achieve the best flavor.
If you can’t use sake, reduce the heat to as low as possible and avoid adding water to keep the ingredients from getting watery.
Let’s make the broth. Combine the soy sauce, mirin, dashi stock and sugar. Stir to mix and dissolve the sugar.
Add the chicken pieces to the broth. The relatively thin slices of meat will cook easily and absorb the seasoning well.
Lightly beat the eggs. Avoid overmixing to create a soft and silky texture.
Separate every two layers of the onion. Then, cut them into 1cm slices. You can also use the white part of a long green onion instead.
Add the onion to the chicken. Heat the pan on medium heat. And cover with a lid.
When the meat begins to turn white, flip it over. If you want to give the dish a lighter flavor, use chicken breast or tenderloin instead of the thigh.
When the chicken is almost cooked, add the mitsuba parsley. Then, distribute the beaten egg. By the way, a special pan called oyako nabe is often used to make oyakodon but you can substitute a small pan.
Cover again. Cook the egg at least halfway through and then adjust the consistency to your taste. If you’re unsure about the quality of your eggs, please find pasteurized eggs or cook the egg completely.
Place the ingredients onto a bowl of hot steamed rice. Make a shallow hole in the center. And place the fresh egg yolk into it.
We recommend cooking the rice with slightly less water to enjoy the oyakodon since it will absorb the remaining broth.
You can also top with sansho pepper or shredded nori seaweed to taste.
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.
Slice the chunk of bacon into 7mm (0.28") square strips. This is a cut from the belly or side of the pork and also known as slab bacon.
Combine the whole egg, grated Parmesan cheese, milk and black pepper. Thoroughly mix the the ingredients in a bowl.
Place the crushed garlic into a pan. And pour in the extra virgin olive oil. Heat the pan on medium heat. When it begins to sizzle, reduce the heat to low and saute the garlic until aromatic.
Add the bacon. Continue sauting until the bacon is browned and it starts to grow more fragrant.
Pour in the white wine and swirl the pan. When the sauce is slightly thickened, turn off the burner.
Let’s cook the pasta. Boil about 0.7 percent of a large amount of salt water. The bacon and cheese both contain salt so a little less salt was added to the water. Submerge the spaghetti in the pot. Cook the pasta for 30 seconds less cooking time than shown on the package.
Now, the pasta is ready. Using tongs, place it into the pan. Turn off the burner of the pot and begin heating the pan again. Toss to coat the pasta with the sauce.
When the pasta is heated, place it into the bowl of the egg mixture. Toss to coat again. If the egg mixture doesn’t have the desired consistency, heat the bowl in the remaining hot water. Now it is ready.
Place the carbonara onto a plate. Top with the chopped spring onion leaves. Finally, sprinkle on the grated Parmesan cheese and black pepper.
This recipe will help to avoid overcooking the egg since the sauce is not heated in the pan.
If you like a richer version of the carbonara, use whipping cream and egg yolks instead of the milk and the whole egg.
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 parboil the chicken. Slice the chicken thighs into bite-size pieces cutting at an angle. Make sure that each piece has about the same thickness. Place the chicken into a pot of boiling water.
Lightly cook the chicken until the surface turns white. Remove and place it onto a tray. This will help to remove any unwanted taste and smell, making the chicken more delicious.
Let's make the sukiyaki sauce also known as warishita. In a pot, combine the soy sauce, sugar, sake and water. Add the dashi kombu seaweed. If the kombu is not available, simply leave it out. Turn on the burner. Stir to mix. When the sugar dissolves, remove the pot. Let it sit to cool and then remove the kombu seaweed.
Let's prepare the ingredients. Slice the long green onion using diagonal cuts. As for the shungiku, use the soft upper half of the stalk and the bottom part of the leaves.
Here are the rest of the ingredients, enoki and shimeji mushrooms, grilled firm tofu and lightly parboiled shirataki noodles cut into shorter lengths.
Let's make the Torisuki. Pour the sukiyaki sauce into a shallow pot. Turn on the burner and bring it to a boil.
Add the shirataki noodles, grilled firm tofu cut into 1.5cm (0.6") slices and long green onion. Add the enoki mushrooms and shimeji mushrooms. Place the chicken into the pot.
Flip the ingredients over and allow them to absorb the broth. The chicken easily becomes tough so avoid overcooking it.
When the chicken is cooked, add the shungiku leaves. Lightly cook the shungiku in the broth and now the Torisuki is ready.
Dip the ingredients into the egg and enjoy the delectable Torisuki.
Using a raw egg is an essential part of enjoying sukiyaki here in Japan. When you are not sure if your raw eggs can be eaten raw, consider using pasteurized eggs.
You may also add udon noodles to the remaining broth and enjoy the last drop of delicious sauce.
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.
Let's make tartar sauce. Slice the hard-boiled egg crosswise with an egg slicer. Remove and slice it lengthwise across the initial slices. Rotate it by 90 degrees and slice it lengthwise again. Put the finely chopped boiled egg into a bowl.
Slice the onion, stack the slices on top of each other and mince well. Put the chopped onion in another bowl and rub with a bit of salt. Rinse the onion with cold water and drain with a mesh strainer. Squeeze out the water, put them on a paper towel and remove the excess moisture. Add the onion to the chopped egg.
Pinch the parsley, chop into fine pieces and add it to the egg. Slice the pickled cucumber, stack them on top of each other and chop into fine pieces. Add it to the egg mixture. Add the mayonnaise and salt to the mixture.
Cut the lemon in half. Slice the lemon half into wedges. Squeeze the other half and add the lemon juice to the mixture. Mix evenly and the tartar sauce is ready to serve.
Let's prepare the side vegetables. Use a vegetable slicer and shred the cabbage into ice water. Let it sit in the water for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain the cabbage shreds with a salad spinner. Serve it on a plate. Garnish with the parsley, small tomamos and lemon wedges. Put the tartar sauce in a small cup and place it on the plate.
Let's prepare the black tiger prawns. Remove the sharp pointed shell from the tails. Peel the prawns but leave the last sections of the shell above the tails. Pierce the back of the prawns with a bamboo skewer and remove the sand veins.
Put the prawns in a bowl. Add a pinch of salt, potato starch and a little water to it. Gently rub the prawns with the salt and starch. Take the bowl to the sink and rinse them with running water to remove the dirt and fishy smell.
Place the prawns on a paper towel. Cover with another paper towel and press them to remove the excess moisture.
Cut the tips off the tails with a kitchen shears and remove the moist inside. Make cuts diagonally along the prawn stomachs. Press the prawns on their back and break the stringy parts. This process will prevent the prawns from curling up when heated. Finally, lightly sprinkle on salt.
Let's coat the prawns with batter. Crack the egg into a bowl. Add some water and beat the egg thoroughly with a whisk. First, dip the prawns into flour. Lightly coat and dust off the excess flour.
Second, dip them into the beaten egg.
Finally, coat the prawns with moist breadcrumbs. If they appear patchy, dip them into the egg again and reapply the breadcrumbs.
Let's deep-fry the prawns. Drop the breadcrumbs in the heated oil to check the oil temperature is around 175 °C (347 °F). Less than 2cm (0.8") depth of frying oil is good enough for this recipe. Dust off the breadcrumbs from the tails. Hold the prawn tails and gently put them into the oil one by one.
Let the prawns sit still in the oil for few seconds. Flip them over as the surface gets crispy. When the surface gets golden brown, place them on a paper towel and let them drain out the excess oil.
Serve the ebi fry on the plate along with the side vegetables and tartar sauce.
If the soft breadcrumbs are not available, mist dried breadcrumbs with water so that the ebi fry become crispy.
This tartar sauce uses less amount of mayonnaise. Adding extra mayo or a bit of mustard to the sauce also brings out the flavor.
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.