Let’s make the bottom crust for the cheesecake. Gradually melt the butter using a bain-marie or microwave.
Line the removable bottom of the cake pan with wax paper.
Place the graham crackers into a food storage bag, seal and roughly crumble them with your hands.
Place the bag on a flat surface and pound the crackers with a surikogi pestle into smaller pieces. Then, roll the cracker with the pestle until powdered. Be careful not to break the bag.
Now, the butter is completely melted. Add the butter into the cracker, seal the bag and shake it thoroughly to combine.
Place the powdered cracker into the cake pan lined with the wax paper. Distribute it with a spatula and press the cracker evenly on the bottom of the cake pan. Then, store the pan in the fridge while preparing the filling.
Let's make the cheesecake filling. Put the whipping cream, plain yogurt, firm tofu, cream cheese, sugar and lemon juice into a blender. Cover with a lid, pulse and then mix until smooth. A tip to blend the mixture quickly is to put the liquid ingredients first. Turn off the blender.
Measure the hot water with a measuring cup and dissolve the gelatin power completely with a spatula.
Put the gelatin into the blender, cover and blend the filling again.
Remove the pitcher and pour the filling into the chilled cake pan. Let it sit in the fridge for 2 to 3 hours to firm up.
Now, the cheesecake is ready to serve. Place the cake pan onto a can to remove the cake. Slide the dampened spatula along the edge of the cheesecake to remove it easily from the cake pan. Push down the side of the cake pan, removing the cheesecake.
Place the cheesecake onto a cake turntable and remove the bottom of the pan. Wipe the blade of a cake knife with a dampened towel and cut the cake in half.
Cleaning the blade for every cut with the towel helps it to cut smoothly. Cut out a quarter piece and then cut it in half. Place the cheesecake onto a plate.
You can also make the cheesecake with small clear bowls and garnish each with your favorite fruits. This will reduce the cutting process, making the cheesecake more visually appealing.
Make sure to press the cracker on the bottom firmly to avoid a crumbly texture.
Let’s make the mango pudding. Heat the water in a pot. When small bubbles begin to form around the entire bottom surface, remove the pot.
Add the sugar and mix to dissolve. The sweetness depends on the type of mango so adjust the amount of sugar accordingly.
Add the gelatin powder and completely dissolve it. There are many types of gelatin powder so be sure to follow the instructions on the package.
Add the gelatin mixture to the bowl with the mango puree and mix. Add the heavy cream also. Combine the mixture thoroughly.
Add the lemon juice to taste. If your mango puree is very sour, you should skip the lemon juice.
Pour the mixture into 5 small cups. Chill them in the fridge for over 2 hours. If you are in a rush, place them in the freezer for 40 to 50 minutes.
Now, the mango pudding is firmed up. Spoon the lightly whipped heavy cream onto the pudding.
Slice off the mango along the flat seed and make cuts in the flesh in a grid pattern. Be sure not to cut the skin. By the way, this mango is from Miyazaki Prefecture. It is sweet and juicy but also expensive so we only used it for the topping.
Cut the mango in half lengthwise and peel off the skin. Looks so delicious!
Place the diced ripe mango onto the pudding. Finally, garnish with the mint leaves.
The type of gelatin we used is widely available in Japan and you can directly add it to hot water approximately 80 degrees Celsius. Make sure to follow the instructions for your gelatin powder.
To get the most out of the appetizing mango color, we didn’t add any milk at all and minimized the use of heavy cream.
We used a minimal amount of gelatin so it has a puru-puru, jelly-like texture.
Mash the ripe banana with a balloon whisk. To help prevent it from discoloring, add the lemon juice. Toss to coat evenly.
Beat an egg in a bowl. Add the raw sugar. The raw sugar goes great with this recipe but you can substitute regular white sugar instead. Continue to mix.
Add the vanilla extract. And mix until the sugar dissolves completely.
Combine the unsalted butter and milk in a cup and gradually melt it in hot water.
Add the melted butter to the egg mixture. You can also use vegetable oil instead of the butter. Mix it evenly.
Combine the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Stir to mix. Then, sift the flour into the bowl. You can also use all purpose flour instead of the cake flour.
Distribute the mashed banana into the bowl. And coat the banana with the flour.
Mix the batter with minimal folding actions until all the flour is moistened. Make sure to avoid overmixing otherwise it will have a dense and firm texture.
Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and pour in the batter. Drop the pan on a flat surface several times to remove any air bubbles. Even out the top.
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. If the top browns too quickly, cover it with aluminum foil at the final stage to keep it from burning.
Remove the pan and place it onto a cooling rack. Skewer the bread with a bamboo stick and if the stick comes out clean, it is ready. Let it sit until slightly cooled.
Remove the bread from the pan. The outside is crispy and the inside is moist and fluffy. The bread is still warm and looks so delicious!
A tip to making delicious banana bread is to use an aromatic ripe banana.
Walnuts, cinnamon powder or rum can be added to taste.
The sweetness depends on the banana so adjust the amount of sugar to taste.
When storing the bread in the fridge, it is best toasted to enhance the fluffy texture.
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.
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.