Wednesday, May 5, 2010
After successfully making a pandan chiffon cake, I've been wanting to make a vanilla version. I took the same basic recipe and changed some things. I substituted regular milk for the coconut milk in the pandan cake and also vanilla extract for the pandan extract.
The cake slid out more easily this time. However, the exterior crust wasn't the same. It was a bit tough. I don't know if it is because of the change in ingredients or if I slightly overbaked the cake. The inside was still super fluffy and spongy though.
I'm going to continue to experiment with other flavors. I'm absolutely loving chiffon cakes right now. I like how they are light, fluffy and not too sweet. Perhaps I just love this recipe though. After thinking I loved chiffon cakes, I recently bought one at a chinese bakery that tasted super dry. Yuck.
Vanilla Chiffon Cake (adapted from Little Corner of Mine)
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1 Tbp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
6 egg yolks
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
6 egg whites
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
3/4 cup sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350'F (175'C).
2. Combine (A) in a bowl. Stir well to blend. Add (B). Beat with an electric mixer until smooth. (The batter will be very thick)
3. Beat (C) (egg whites and cream of tartar) in a separate bowl until moist peaks
formed. Gradually add 3/4 cup sugar, beating until stiff and shiny
peaks are formed. Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the egg yolks
mixture, fold to mix and then add the rest of the egg whites. Fold
gently but thoroughly. Turn batter into ungreased 10" tube pan.
4. Bake for 60 mins or until a
toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Invert cake and cool
completely in pan. When cool, loosen the edges and shake pan to remove
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Pa Pa Walk
227 W Valley Blvd, Ste 148-B
San Gabriel, CA 91776
This weekend, I went on a food road trip to LA with Boyfriend, Baby Bro and Baby Bro's girlfriend. One day, tons of food stops. We left overstuffed with delicious food. I'll be writing up about the various food places throughout the week. Out of all the food places we tried, the snow shaved ice we had at Pa Pa Walk was the highlight of our trip.
I first heard of snow/snowflake shaved ice from Hungry Girl in Taipei. Since then, I've read about it at a few more places and have been wanting to try it. It's quite popular in Taiwan now. Instead of regular ice blocks, the ice is mixed with condensed milk and then shaved, and the shaved ice is much more fine compared to regular shaved ice. When I read Food Librarian's post on trying the snow shaved ice at Pa Pa Walk, I knew I had to make a stop.
Pa Pa Walk is a small Taiwanese cafe. When we arrived, I wasn't sure which shaved ice choice I wanted. There was a milk tea one, green tea, red bean, cappuccino, or choose your own topping. However, on the display case there was a mango snow shaved ice. Normally, I like lots of toppings in my shaved ice including sticky rice balls, red beans, etc. But everyone around me had ordered the mango shaved ice, so we ordered it as well.
We ordered a small, which was $10.50. It's probably the priciest shaved ice I've ever ordered. But the taste. The taste was amazing. Even though I read about how fine the shaved ice was, and how good it tasted with the condensed milk, I wasn't prepared for how it tasted. I've had fine shaved ice before in Hawaii. But it still tasted like ice. The snow shaved ice is almost a completely different substance. As soon as you dig your spoon in, you know something's different. Instead of hitting ice, it's soft. The ice is shaved so fine that it's almost a powder and so you are left with something that is more creamy than icy. It's almost like eating ice cream.
Normally, I like lots of distractions in my shaved ice. Or else I'm basically just eating ice. However, here, I was just really enjoying the ice by itself. Also the snow ice doesn't melt as fast as regular shaved ice. If you've had regular shaved ice, you know that no matter how fast you eat it, you'll be left with a puddle of water shortly after you start eating it. We were able to gobble this entire shaved ice without it really melting. Boyfriend normally doesn't enjoy shaved ice. But he loved this is as well. "This is shaved ice I would eat," he declared.
Everyone loved the shaved ice. I'm glad we ordered it with the mangos. It allowed us to enjoy the shaved ice by itself, accompanied only by some mango syrup and some sweet mango slices. This is the fastest I've seen shaved ice consumed.
Since we were in a Taiwanese cafe, I couldn't help but order some snacks. I ordered the fried stinky tofu. The tofu were really puffy. I liked the tofu and the sauce, though the taste of the stinky tofu wasn't too strong. I wasn't a fan of the pickled cabbage that accompanied the tofu. I thought they were too sour and they weren't spicy.
We also ordered the oyster pancake. I don't know why I feel compelled to order oyster pancake whenever I see it on the menu. So far, most of the places I've had it at have been really disappointing. I wasn't a fan of the one at Pa Pa Walk's. It was too mushy and soft.
Pa Pa Walk's also carries frozen dumplings. They are a bit pricier than ones I've bought in Monterey Park or from Sinbala in Arcadia. But I did notice that they even have lamb dumplings. Since I didn't know how they tasted, I didn't buy any. Maybe next time. I wasn't too impressed with the food we ordered, but I loved, loved the shaved ice.
We were seated at a table in front of these footprints with signatures. I assume they were of famous people who have stopped by but I couldn't really read any of the signatures. The only I think I recognized was that of Vanness Wu (F4, Meteor Garden), and only because there was his picture next to his signature. I've always admired his story. An ABC kid, doesn't read chinese, yet gets cast in a scripted Taiwanese drama that made him one of most well known singers/actors in Asia. Still not sure how he read those scripts. It gives me hope that I could potentially find a career as a Taiwanese drama actress if I can ever learn how to cry on cue.
While we were sitting there, Boyfriend noticed this sign. If you've been reading his Funny Foto Friday columns, you'll know he is always noticing these funny signs/images. I would not have noticed these weird signs if it wasn't for him. Even after studying them, I am still unsure what exactly they are supposed to mean. Boyfriend will give you his thoughts in his friday column. But here is a preview of the signs:
Now, I'm completely obsessed with the shaved ice. Afterward, I was searching to find out where else I could get it at. I found that it is also served at ID Cha House and Class 302. Both will require another road trip. Readers, do you have any recommendations for places that serve snow ice?
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
I’ve been wanting to bake my own donuts ever since seeing a recipe from Little Corner of Mine for healthy baked donuts. But I didn’t have a donut pan. So after putting it on my wishlist for a while, I finally went ahead and bought one. I bought the Norpro Mini Donut Pan, but I didn’t realize just how small the donut molds would be. They are super cute, but also not much batter can fit in each mold.
I wasn’t sure what to expect for the taste of these donuts. They didn’t seem like the classic cake donut. But they also weren’t going to taste like your normal yeast fried donut, The donuts by themselves tasted something between a cross between a cake and a donut. Normally, my family doesn’t like icing on their donuts. The only donuts we like are glazed ones. I thought these donuts would look better frosted because they have some holes.
I knew no one would eat the frosted donuts, so I instead, I decided to use chocolate ganache. Originally, I was going to do a drizzle, but then the donuts were so tiny, I decided to just dip the tops in the chocolate. Once glazed with chocolate ganache, these babies looked more like donuts and tasted more like donuts too. Everyone really liked them.
I’m probably going to try out some other baked donut recipes, but this is a nice one. It doesn’t exactly satisfy my cravings for donuts, but they are tasty and I like how they look.
Mini donuts (adapted from Little Corner of Mine)
1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup white granulated sugar
3/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 large egg
1 tub (6oz/170g) vanilla flavored yogurt
1 Tbsp. milk
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1. In a big glass bowl, combine (A). Whisk thoroughly with a whisk.
2. In the center, add (B). Whisk until combine. Use a spoon and fill the greased donuts pan, about half full.
3. Bake at preheated 400′F oven for about 7-8 minutes for mini donuts. Remove with a toothpick and let cool completely on wire rack.
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1. Heat heavy cream in a small pot. Be careful to not let it boil over. Once it begins to boil, remove from the stove.
2. Pour heavy cream into bowl of chopped chocolate. Stir and mix until chocolate is completely melted.
3. Let ganache cool for a few minutes before drizzling donuts with glaze or simply dipping the tops of the donuts in chocolate ganache