Recipe: Blueberry Tart

I seldom bake in the summer. I have no desire to turn my house into a furnace (most houses in Seattle don’t have A/C). But when I do, it is usually with seasonal fruits.

I baked this tart two days ago.

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On tasting, my friend Katia said “It is heavenly, you have to write about it”.

So here it is. Continue reading “Recipe: Blueberry Tart”

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Bostock

Two things I miss most from visiting b.patisserie in San Francisco: one is chef Brenda Leong’s delicious kouign amann – I have yet to find anything like it in Seattle.  The other is Bostock.

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Bostock is toasted brioche soaked in pastry syrup, topped with almond cream(frangipane) and sliced almonds. It is quite easy to make, as long as you have day-old brioche. I didn’t have day-old brioche at hand, so I made one from scratch and waited till the next day to make bostock. I know it sounded like wasting a good loaf of freshly baked brioche. But when one wants a bostock, one must have it!

Ingredients:

Orange Pastry Syrup
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
orange juice, Grand Marnier, Cointeau or Triple Sec (to taste)
Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring syrup to a boil. Once sugar dissolves, remove from heat and cool. Add orange juice or liquer to syrup. Syrup keeps up to one month in the refrigerator. Continue reading “Bostock”

Brioche

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The smell of good bread baking, like the sound of lightly flowing water, is indescribable in its evocation of innocence and delight…
―MFK Fisher

It’s been a while since I baked brioche. I almost forgot how intoxicating it smelled when one is in the oven. This recipe, adopted from L’Academie de Cuisine, yields approximately two pounds of dough, which will make 4 small, 2 medium or 1 large load of bread.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 4 cups (1lb) all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup (8oz)  room temperature butter

Continue reading “Brioche”

Quinoa & Veggie Souffle

“The only thing that will make a souffle fall is if it knows you’re afraid of it”

-James Beard

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The first time I made a soufflé, it was a screaming success! I mean look at it – it rose up high and even, had the right amount of air pockets; The texture was light and fluffy, and the taste amazing. Continue reading “Quinoa & Veggie Souffle”

Apricot Walnut Bread

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Today a friend asked me what my blog is all about. Without hesitation I told him, it’s about food, it’s about travel, it contains recipes…and then it suddenly dawned on me that most of my recipes are from the food I sampled throughout my trips, inspired by the looks and tastes of a particular local dish and the anecdotes surround it. Cooking or reproducing it simply becomes an extension of the fond memories, back home. Continue reading “Apricot Walnut Bread”

Caramelized Apple Tart – Tarte fine aux pommes

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Do you know your apples?  I lived in the East Coast for 10 years, back there and then, the only apples that pop up at the super market were: Granny smith, Red delicious, Golden delicious, and Macintosh.  I didn’t like any of those varieties. It is not until I moved to Seattle my eyes finally opened.  Washington state is one of the biggest producers and exporters of apples in the United States.  When I found Washington apples (with their red stickers) at a grocery shop in Taipei couple of years ago, I was so very proud.

Now onto the tart.  Recipe courtesy of Clotilde from Chocolate and Zucchini:

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons high-quality unsalted butter, melted
  • 40 grams (3 tablespoons) blond unrefined cane sugar
  • 1 quick and easy puff pastry (you can substitute a sheet of store-bought, all-butter puff pastry, about 250 grams or 9 ounces, thawed if frozen, but it will be a lot better with the homemade pastry)
  • 3 small apples, about 450 grams (1 pound), peeled, cored, and thinly sliced into circles
  • 1 pinch fine sea salt

Continue reading “Caramelized Apple Tart – Tarte fine aux pommes”

Recipe: Caramelized Apple Tart – Quick Puff Pastry

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After an unusual dry summer, fall colors arrived earlier this year.  Last Sunday my friend and I went to Mount Rainier National Park. This is the first time I saw my favorite park dusted with these colors so vibrant and in such magnitude.  The wild flowers in the summer simply CANNOT compare. Continue reading “Recipe: Caramelized Apple Tart – Quick Puff Pastry”

Banana Bread

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My friend Jing and I went to Whole Foods Market after work.  As I was walking along the produce aisle, I suddenly realized that I had a bag of bananas from last week’s shopping I don’t recall eating.  Senior moment already?  Looks like someone could use some Bananas (Banana as Brain Food).

Of all the fruits in the whole wide world, banana is my least favorite.  Unripe it has a waxy texture and a slight biter taste; Overripe it’s mushy, over sweet with an alcohol like smell.

But I am not ready to admit my defeat and threw away these overpriced organic dark skinned fruits, so I decided to make my first ever banana bread.

I like this recipe on Food Networks because the addition of the pecan nuts:

Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 overripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped

Continue reading “Banana Bread”