Sunday, April 26, 2015

Roll Cake

This is not a sweet cake. The sweetness is in the fruit and cream. If you want it more sweet, increase the sugar in the batter by 2-4 T.

Preheat oven to 190ºC (375ºF).

Line a long, thin pan with cooking parchment. If you have a jelly roll cake pan (10½"X15½"), use that. I don't, so I just use what I have.

Prepare your ingredients. You will need 3 bowls (one for mixing the cake, one for whipping egg whites, and one for sifting the dry ingredients into). Two whisks are also handy, one for the cake, and one for the egg whites.

4 eggs
½ C sugar
1 t vanilla
2 t cornstarch
¾ C minus 2 t flour
¾ t baking powder
½ t salt
fine or powdered sugar (for dusting)

whipped cream

Separate the eggs. Put the yolks in one bowl and the whites in another. 

Whip the egg yolks until light and airy. Gradually add the sugar and then the vanilla. Set aside.

Place the cornstarch in a measuring cup, and add flour until you have ¾ C. Pour this into a sifter, then add the baking powder and salt. Sift it all together into a bowl.

Gradually add the flour mixture to the egg yolk mixture. Set aside.

Whip the egg whites until stiff (when you pick up your whisk, there will be little peaks). Use a spatula to gently fold the whites into the batter. Continue folding until the batter is one color.

Spread the batter in your pan, and bake for 12-14 minutes, or until the cake is lightly browned and bounces back when gently touched.

Loosen the sides with a knife and gently slide the cake onto a cooling rack. Get a tea towel, and sprinkle on it a very light layer of powdered sugar. Turn the cake onto the sugared towel, peel off the parchment, roll it up carefully, and put it on the rack to cool.

When the cake is cooled, unroll it, remove the towel, and fill with whipped cream and strawberries. (If you like, you can prepare the strawberries ahead of time by washing, cutting, and sprinkling them with a little sugar. Keep them in the refrigerator until you use them.) Of course, you can use other fruit, like kiwis, bananas, blueberries, etc.

Alternately, you could fill it with whipped cream mixed with 10-20 grams of dark chocolate, melted in the microwave with a little coffee liqueur or espresso, then cooled before whipping into the whipped cream.

Refrigerate the cake until serving.

PS This cake can be covered with a chocolate ganache made from shredded dark chocolate with a little simmered heavy cream poured over it. Make it in a ceramic or glass bowl, and stir with a metal spoon. Once it is mixed, stop stirring and let it sit. When cooled to a good pouring consistency, pour it over the refrigerated cake.

Friday, April 24, 2015


Guacamole with minced garlic and salt
Put in a wide, shallow bowl:

1-2 T freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
A little salt

Wash, dry, cut, scoop out, then put in the bowl and mash with a fork:

1-2 ripe avocados


1-2 T finely minced onions
1 small minced tomato

Some other additions could be:

finely minced garlic

a little cumin
a little cayenne
minced Jalapeno peppers

Serve with chips.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Miso Soup

Miso soup made with Kagoshima white miso
Serves 6


1½ t dashi powder (bonito dashi is used traditionally, but konbu dashi works as well)
4 C water
¼ C miso*

Your choice of ingredients (see below).

Place water and dashi powder in a pan and bring it to a boil. Add vegetables and cook until tender. Dissolve the miso in the broth.


*Pretty much any miso that you find at the supermarket will be fine. There are many varieties, and some are more robust than others, so adjust the amount of miso according to taste.

Some miso comes with dashi already added. If this is the type that you buy, then obviously you won’t need to add any dashi.

Some combinations to add to basic miso soup:

Tofu chopped in ½-1 cm squares, dried cut wakame seaweed.
Shiitake mushrooms, tofu.
Kabocha squash chopped in bite-sized pieces (this take a while to cook), shiitake, tofu.
Thinly sliced potatoes, thinly sliced onions.
Mixed mushrooms (shiitake, shimeji, etc.)
Bamboo shoots, wakame seaweed.
Diagonally sliced leek, tofu.
Spinach, tofu, green onions.
Whatever you have in your refrigerator.


Add wakame close to serving time. Wakame left a long time in the soup tends to get a bit slimy.

Less is more. Keep your ingredients few. It’s not stew, it’s soup.

If you want to make miso soup with a mushroom base, which is very delicious, soak 2-4 dried shiitake mushrooms (for 30-60 minutes) in the water you will use for the soup. Take them out, remove the stems, slice them, and return to the pan. The mushrooms make a nice soup base, so you may not need any dashi. Continue cooking as for basic miso soup.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Erinn's Butterscotch Brownies

½ C butter (110 gm)
2 C brown sugar
2 eggs
1 t vanilla

1½ C flour
¼ t salt
2 t baking powder
1 C chopped nuts or a mix of nuts and chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 180ºC (350ºF). Melt the butter by placing your metal mixing bowl in the preheating oven. While you do that, get your other ingredients ready.

When butter is melted, add all the other ingredients. (Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together to be sure there are no lumps.) Mix everything together, combining well.

Spread into 9X13" pan lined with cooking paper and bake for 25-30 minutes, until dry on top and almost firm.

Cool 10 minutes and cut into squares.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Lemon Chicken

Remove skin and any fat, then slice into ¾ cm lengthwise slices:

about 500 gm chicken breasts

Marinate for 30 minutes or more, in:

1 T soy sauce
1 T sesame oil
1½ t cornstarch
1 egg
½ T finely grated ginger
¼ t pepper


Canola or other oil for deep frying
Cornstarch (in a wide shallow bowl) for dredging before frying

Heat about 1cm of canola oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan. Remove chicken one-by-one from marinade and dredge with corn starch. When a wooden chopstick put into the oil bubbles a little, the oil is hot enough to use. Reduce heat to medium-low, and fry chicken slices for about 1 minute on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on a grill with newspaper underneath.


¼ C lemon juice
2 T water
¼ C honey 
A pinch of salt
1 T cornstarch - mixed with 3 T water until smooth
(Thin slices of lemon)

Please feel free to change these measurements according to how much sauce you want and the strength of the sauce you prefer. 

Heat lemon juice, water, honey, and salt. When very hot, add cornstarch mixed with water. Keep stirring until slightly thickened. (Add lemon slices and allow them to soften.) Pour over chicken right before serving.

Serve with rice.