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Posts Tagged ‘chocolate’

baked donuts 1
Now that the summer heat has started to hit Japan in earnest, I’m starting to miss the chilly weather that hung on until just a couple weeks ago. I stayed at a friend’s place last weekend, and made these cute baked mini donuts. The mini part was a happy compromise, as we wanted to buy a full sized silicon donut mold, and could only find the mini version at Tokyu Hands.

Speaking of silicon cook and bakeware, they are suddenly very popular in Japan. There have been a ton of mooks (magazine books) coming out with recipes and free cookware, including everything from vegetable steamers to cake molds. Baking with silicon molds is being promoted as being the “healthy” option for making donuts, cakes and even churros. I don’t know if it is actually healthier, but it does make me want to fill my kitchen with rainbow colored bakeware! Baked donuts are leading the boom, popping up everywhere from Mister Donut to my local supermarket bakery. I can only assume that is why it was impossible to find a full sized silicon mold for donuts!

Using the mold is simple, we just made a batter using a store bought pancake mix, eggs, milk and butter. Then we added cocoa powder, green tea powder and kinako (roasted soybean) powder to make different flavored donuts. After spooning the batter into our mold, we baked the donuts for 1o minutes, let them cool, and started decorating.

It was an awesome way to spend a rainy Sunday morning. The only downside? Now all I can think about is other flavors of donuts and icing that still need to be tested!

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Japan has never had a shortage of cute animal shaped food, but I always seem to forget to take a photo before munching on an adorably shaped ear. Last Friday, I managed to hold off my baser instincts for the 5 seconds it took to snap a photo of two bear shaped buns before they met their demise.

I spotted this rainbow panda bun at the local convenience store.

It’s supposed to be a Pirameki Panda, a character from a Japanese TV show. Looking at the colors, I expected the filling to be something sweet, like strawberry milk or red bean paste. I was a little surprised when I took a bite and realized it was a normal pork nikuman filling. I started with the yellow light bulb first, before taking out an eye, heh. ;D

Next, I went to Mister Donut for my next victim snack.

Though Mister Donut is doing a promotion with Rilakkuma right now, this is not a Rilakkuma donut. It’s a bear shaped raised yeast donut filled with whipped cream, and topped  with a caramel flavored faux chocolate coating. It is definately not my favorite donut (golden chocolate all the way!), as I’m not really a fan of filled donuts, or fake chocolate.  Just goes to show that sometimes cuteness can outweigh taste when it comes to my better judgement. >_<;;

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I finally went to the Ninja Akasaka restaurant and had a great time. The course dinner I ordered was lovely, but when dessert came out I had to contain a girlish squeal of happiness. ;P

This little frog is actually made of cheesecake!
The body is composed to a creamy lemony cheesecake, and filled with pieces of fresh fruit, and decorated with chocolate. The “lilypad” is a semi-sweet choclate biscuit, and the leaf is well, a leaf. The description was winter themed, so right after i took this photo, our ninja for the evening came by and sprinkled parmesan cheese “snow” over the frog.

It felt a bit wrong digging into this guy…but I finished every last bite!

Ninja Akasaka @ Akasaka, Tokyo, Japan

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So I have been trying to avoid the convenience store, because every time I go inside, I end up with a bunch of impulse snack purchases. I swear today, I only went in to pick up some bug spray! Somehow, I managed to leave the combini without bug spray, and with a selection of this month’s limited edition snacks.

First up,
pockykitkat
From the top down,
Almond Pocky: An almond paste based chocolate coating, rather than chocolate with bits of almonds, like Almond Crush Pocky. According to the back of the package, Almond Pocky was the second Pocky product introduced by Glico after Chocolate Pocky. It is really creamy tasting, like almond butter. Really good, I actually like Almond Pocky better than normal Pocky, and am sad that it is an limited edition product.

Apple Vinegar Kit Kat: I was really curious how apple vinegar would come across in a Kit Kat. Instead of a milk chocolate it is a white chocolate coating, and the package says that it contains 1.4% powdered apple vinegar. When you open the package you get a light apple smell, but I was surprised that it wasn’t sour at all, even though the taste was definitely apple vinegar versus just apple.

Jasmine Tea Kit Kat: A milk chocolate coated Kit Kat, with 1% powdered jasmine tea. These are great! Everything from the jasmine fragrance to the slight bitterness from the tea leaves is in the Kit Kat. It is really strange, the tea flavor is so strong, that I couldn’t taste any chocolate at all.

Lemon Love Kit Kat:  I bought this solely for the cute packaging! You can refold the box to hold just one pack (each box has 2 wrapped twin bars) and write a message on the flap, and give it to someone special . 🙂 Cute!

These are also white chocolate, with 0.8% powdered lemon. It tastes creamy, with a lemony sour taste at the end. I didn’t really like this one, i found the white chocolate too sweet and too creamy to match the citrus from the lemon.

and CIMG9385
Sour Cream and Onion flavored Ame Pote, which I am guessing is short for “American Potato Chips”. I normally don”t buy potato chips unless they are a flavor I haven’t eaten before, but this bag of chips called to me for some reason. Then I took a look at the back of the bag…
CIMG9386
Made with Oregon White Round Potatoes! Aww, I have to show my love for the Beaver State…so in the basket they went. They aren’t amazing, a little drier than I like, but still tasty.

It’s getting warmer and warmer every day here in Yamanashi! I am excited that is is almost kakigori and ice cream season. (^^)

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It is starting to get very very warm here in Yamanashi as the rainy season finishes up, and we enter full on summer weather. Luckily there are a wide variety of frozen ice bars to cool you off in a hurry.
The suika (watermelon) bar is one of my favorites.

The suika bar is huge! The icy melon flavored pop is about 8 inches tall, which last long enough to freeze your tongue and make you forget the blazing weather. A nice surprise is that this melon slice shaped pop had chocolate seeds! Crunchy little bits of chocolate make the suika bar really interesting to eat!

Family Mart @Yamanashishi, Japan

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Tiramisu Mochi

Tiramisu Mochi:Cocoa dusted rice cake filled with a coffee flavored custard.

Nakajimaya Ryokan@ Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan

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strawberry cupcake

Strawberry Chocolate Cupcake: Baked by a group of my 9th grade boys for Cooking class. It was delicious, and came with a surprise…

At the bottom of the cupcake were crunchy cornflakes!

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