Little thrills, little trips, little ideas


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Pandora’s French Toast

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Pandora’s French Toast

Last weekend, I had a craving for french toast again. However, I did not wish to elicit a negative reaction form my kids, rolling their eyes and complaining about having french toast again (though its an in-house favourite). Therefore, I cracked my brains and turned it up a notch with last weekend’s french toast.

To be honest, I have not tasted a good french toast dish in the local cafes, the most memorable one was during our holiday on Moyo Island, Indonesia, The french toast was superb! It was thick yet not dense at all as the homemade bread still retained its fluffy buttery texture. The best part was they used locally harvested raw honey and honeycomb to dress the french toast! It couldn’t get any better than this especially when we were stranded on an almost deserted island with only one resort.

I had come across some really interesting ways of dressing up the french toasts especially in Japan, like this one which I attempted. I called it the Pandora’s French Toast….haha….. Its a dessert with a surprise. What I did was to mix and match some interesting sweet ingredients and stuffed them by layers into the french toast. I used an unsliced bread loaf for this, cut out 2 slices of bread, 1 thicker slice and a thinner slice as a base. I soaked them in egg mixture and panfried them like any normal french toast recipe. You can find the recipe in my previous post Stuffed French Toast . There after,  I cut out a hollow section in the centre of the thicker slice, placed it on the thinner slice and filled it up with the ingredients. So from the exterior, one could only see the bread and the condiments on top. However, when you cut into the bread, the layers of fillings reveal themselves which include citrusy ricotta mascarpone cheese, mochi, mashed sweet Azuki red beans and finished off with freshly sliced plums and more mochi! It was so much fun to see the reactions on my family’s faces who had not tried french toast prepared this way before. My husband was super happy when he saw Azuki red bean and mochi, his favourites. My elder son was scrutinising the stuffings like conducting a lab test. I totally enjoyed mine. My youngest requested for vanilla ice-cream in his toast.

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Pandora’s French Toast sliced 

The addition of the mochi was the best. It was like eating a dorayaki pancake with mochi inside. I dressed the plate up with little droplets of minty cherry sauce, some dried preserved fruits (mikan and ume) and sliced banana.

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Pandora’s French Toast

I think this french toast was my best so far not because of the mix & match ingredients but the surprise element. You can literally hide anything inside, maybe even an engagement ring for those men wanting to propose to their wives-to-be!


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Fun doodling with Mochi

www.ongling.comMy heart was heavy while making bento lunch for Tz after hearing the news of our Singapore father Mr Lee Kwan Yew’s passing this morning.

So I would like to leave a short message to Mr Lee first before I continue with this post:

“Dear Mr Lee, my great grandmother was in her 80s when she saw you took office in the 1950s. My grandfather always told us those years were really hard between 1950s and 1960s (economic, political, civil, student unrests) after World War II. We have been through the struggles together with you and the Singapore elders from then til now.  Our family had not seen eye to eye with your policies many a time in the old days, not many Chinese business merchants in those days did, but our family history would not have been a colourful one without you in the picture.  It is still unbelievable what Singapore has become now on the global arena with your laser sharp vision and life dedication to this little nation.

lky-n-kgc-4Now, Mr Lee, you can finally rest and rekindle your love affair with Mrs Lee and be happy together again.  Thank you Mr Lee for being there through 5 generations of my family as I got the chance to tell my 3-year old son, Tz,  who was the father of Singapore.”

Yesterday, I tried my hand in doing some fun stuff with Mochi for Tz’s snack box today. It was not easy moulding with mochi as it was sticky and elastic. I really respect those wagashi masters in creating beautiful pieces. I made a Shiro-an paste filling (White Lima Beans paste), the recipe is available at this fantastic blog about wagashi in both English and Deutsche language, http://www.wagashi-net.de. Though there are all kind of bean pastes available in the supermarkets nowadays, learning to make the traditional paste from scratch is very satisfying. Took me 2 days to make the paste. So I made quite a lot and freeze them for future use.

www.ongling.comimageAs for the mochi, I used shiratama-ko flour and rice syrup. This is a much easier flour to use and mould than joshin-ko for Shiratamakoamateurs like me. After mixing the ingredients for the mochi, I separated into 4 portions for colouring before steaming each one of them for 15 minutes. Other ingredients I use are chocolate chips and bits. It was fun making the mochi as I fed myself to these sweets while I was making them (ˆÖˆ)

Tips: use cellophane paper to mould, to avoid stickiness while handling the mochi, use lots of potato flour between hands and on the cellophane paper. Rice syrup adds a nice rounded sweet flavour to the mochi and keep it soft longer.

Another site which is useful to learn how to make mochi the easy way is www.justonecookbook.com/recipes/daifuku

I am so excited to try my hand in wagashi making next month when I visit Kanazawa in Japan, one of traditional wagashi sweets hub in Japan.

updated : Just made a special Superhero LKY Bento as a tribute to our Singapore Father Mr Lee Kuan Yew.