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Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Chocolate and orange

I love the combination of chocolate and any fruits: strawberries, coconut, bananas, and even dry mangoes. My favorite pair is chocolate and orange, though. Whenever I’m making chocolate chip cookies or brownies and I have an orange on hand, I’d take out my zester and sprinkle in a couple of tablespoons of the zest. I also used to be obsessed with the Milano cookies from Pepperidge Farm, especially the orange one:

Milano Cookies from Pepperidge Farm

Cute ad.

Pepperidge Farm's ad for Milano Cookies

If you don’t have a zester, I highly highly recommend on getting one. It’s incredible what just a little bit of zest can do to your cooking and baking. The best zester I’ve ever used is the one from Microplane. For less than fifteen dollars, it made grating and zesting actually fun for me.

So here’s the recipe: not only it’s delicious and no-fail, but it’s also super easy. Three bowls — that’s all you need! (I even have one-bowl recipes.)

Soft chocolate cookies

Soft chocolate cookies with orange zest

Makes two dozens, 1.5″ wide

8 oz. (230g) of chocolate of your choice

1/3 cup (40g) of All-purpose flour (cake flour works fine)
1/4 tsp of Baking powder
A pinch of salt

Zest of One orange (or two if you’d like!)
Two Medium to Large eggs
1/2 cup (100g) of Sugar

A little butter for greasing

  • Preheat: 350 Fahrenheit (180 Celsius)
  • Bowl One: Melt the chocolate over a hot water bath.
  • Bowl Two: Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Bowl Three: Cream the eggs and sugar. Mix in the zest.
  • Combine Bowl One and Three. Make sure the chocolate isn’t too hot. Whisk quickly.
  • Add Bowl Two to the mixture. Using a spatula, mix in the dry ingredients until just combined. Don’t overmix!
  • Drop by round tablespoon onto a slightly greased baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. Don’t over bake if you want the soft texture.
  • Enjoy!

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    Flower cakes with carnations

    May 8 is Parents’ Day in Korea. No separate Mother’s and Father’s Day. The tradition is to buy red carnations for your parents, and the streets get flooded with street vendors selling carnation corsages and baskets. It’s almost Koreans’ second nature to do so…this is what kids make in school every single year for the occasion. Repeat this for ten years; you feel extremely guilty if you don’t get carnations for your parents:

    Carnation by kids

    What they are going for:
    Carnation corsage

    Anyway, that time of the year came around again, and instead of making felt flowers or buying one of the baskets, I wanted do something a little bit more special for them. Something food related, of course. They have been incredibly supportive of me making a huge mess in their kitchen every weekend with the excuse of cooking for them. So I was delighted when I stumbled upon some edible carnations at a gourmet grocery store.

    Flower cakes with carnations

    Flower cakes, called Hwajeon (화전), are little round pieces of chewy, sticky mochi dough pan fried, which are then covered with thin syrup. It’s a very popular dish in the spring, usually topped with pink azaleas that are around only for a couple of weeks. Wikipedia page here. Try them out if you get your hands on a box of sweet rice flour, especially if you like chewy mochis. These are quite a treat.

    Flower cakes

    Hwajeon, “Flower Cakes”

    Makes a dozen 2″ cakes

    1 1/2 cups of Sweet rice flour, such as Mochiko flour
    3-4 tablespoons of hot water
    A pinch of salt
    Vegetable oil

    A dozen leaves of flat-leave parsley
    A few dozen petals of edible flowers

    1/2 cup of granulated sugar
    1/2 cup of water

    • Sift the rice flour and salt, then mix in the hot water a tablespoon at a time. When you have a slightly sticky dough, put it in a plastic bag and let it rest for 15-20 minutes.
    • Meanwhile, start making the syrup with the sugar and water. Do not stir. Put it on high heat until it starts boiling, then turn the heat down to low. Simmer until they appear just a tiny bit thicker. Turn off the heat immediately and let it cool.
    • Divide the dough into a dozen (or more if you want them smaller) and roll them into little balls.
    • Grease a flat surface with a little oil, then press them into flat discs, about 1/4″ thick. They will get slightly thicker once cooked. If there’s not enough oil, they will get stuck to the surface. Don’t stack them either.
    • Put the pan on very low heat. Coat with a little oil. Cook the discs for a few minutes on each side, until they become a little translucent. They will dry out if you overcook them.
    • Decorate the cakes with the leaves and petals while the cakes are still hot.
    • Place them on a plate and pour over the cooled syrup.

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