officebento:

Vegetarian chilli, half an avocado with line juice and sunflower seeds, fresh strawberries, and green salad with cabbage, bell pepper, almonds, and sesame-ginger dressing

Don’t mind me while I continue to have fun with my cake and my camera.

Don’t mind me while I continue to have fun with my cake and my camera.


Every once in a while, I get this feeling and I need to bake something.
When this happens, I usually make cookies. I love cookies. They’re bite sized pieces of heaven and there are so many different types to choose from! Chocolate chip, ginger, thumbprint, shortbread… Not that long ago I even tried making madeleines for the first time. I’m open to making just about anything as long as it sounds good. (And what cookies don’t?) Today when I was hit with the desire to bake, I unsurprisingly dipped into my pile of cookie recipes to see what I could find. I found a number of very promising ones. I almost made apple cookies. But in the process of deciding, I also ran into a few cake recipes too. Suddenly, I wanted to bake a cake.
So, as you can see, I baked a cake.
This is a black tea cake with butter cream frosting. The recipe came from Pastry Affair.
Cookies are always great, but I’m glad I decided to make this cake today. Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about my abilities in the kitchen. I’m by no means a professional, but at the same time, I’m not bad either. And seeing as I enjoy cooking and baking, I’d like to get better. In order to get better at anything though, you have to push yourself. When I bake or cook, I tend to use a number of my favorite, standby recipes. There’s something to say about practicing recipes, but they’re not really challenges. Making a cake was a nice change of pace.
Admittedly, besides the fact that it’s been over a year since I’ve actually made a cake, I didn’t have to push my baking abilities much to make the cake. The recipe was straight forward and the ingredients were pretty standard. The challenge came with the frosting.
This was my first time using a pastry bag to pipe frosting.
It was a lot of fun! I tried two piping techniques. First, I made the ring of stars around the side of the cake to hide the seam between the two layers. Then, I tried a shell border around the top edge of the cake. My finishing touches were the stars in the middle.
My work wasn’t perfect. Both the stars and the shells vary in size a bit around the cake. Also, I didn’t always manage to space the shells correctly. But I’m very proud of the overall result! I didn’t use all the frosting, so the left overs are in my fridge. I want to practice my piping techniques more, so who knows? Maybe I’ll make some cupcakes later this week.
About the cake:
The recipe didn’t specify what kind of black tea to use. Seeing as I currently have a tin of chai in loose leaf form, I went with that, although I almost used a few teabags of English breakfast. I think chai was a really nice choice. I tried this recipe sometime before coming to Japan. I can’t remember what sort of tea I used then, but whatever it was, its flavor didn’t hold up nearly as well as the chai does against the other flavors of the cake.
I initially had a bit of an issue baking the cake when I realized my oven was too small to hold two cake pans on the same rack and that the top rack was much, much hotter than the lower one. However, flipping the positions of the two cakes half way through the time in the oven seemed to fix the problem just fine and the final product came out moist and wonderful.
The cake is sweet, but not overly so. Also, the tea flavor is mild and blends nicely with the other flavors of the cake, especially the honey in the frosting. As you can see from the pictures, I didn’t use as much frosting as I could have. Truthfully, I wish I had put more in between the two layers of the cake (I’m happy with the amount on the top). But the cake was moist enough on its own that it didn’t need the icing to help it in that regard. The icing just brought another flavor to it.
In conclusion, I’d definitely recommend this cake and recipes to others. If you like tea (or even if you don’t), check it out!

Every once in a while, I get this feeling and I need to bake something.

When this happens, I usually make cookies. I love cookies. They’re bite sized pieces of heaven and there are so many different types to choose from! Chocolate chip, ginger, thumbprint, shortbread… Not that long ago I even tried making madeleines for the first time. I’m open to making just about anything as long as it sounds good. (And what cookies don’t?) Today when I was hit with the desire to bake, I unsurprisingly dipped into my pile of cookie recipes to see what I could find. I found a number of very promising ones. I almost made apple cookies. But in the process of deciding, I also ran into a few cake recipes too. Suddenly, I wanted to bake a cake.

So, as you can see, I baked a cake.

This is a black tea cake with butter cream frosting. The recipe came from Pastry Affair.

Cookies are always great, but I’m glad I decided to make this cake today. Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about my abilities in the kitchen. I’m by no means a professional, but at the same time, I’m not bad either. And seeing as I enjoy cooking and baking, I’d like to get better. In order to get better at anything though, you have to push yourself. When I bake or cook, I tend to use a number of my favorite, standby recipes. There’s something to say about practicing recipes, but they’re not really challenges. Making a cake was a nice change of pace.

Admittedly, besides the fact that it’s been over a year since I’ve actually made a cake, I didn’t have to push my baking abilities much to make the cake. The recipe was straight forward and the ingredients were pretty standard. The challenge came with the frosting.

This was my first time using a pastry bag to pipe frosting.

It was a lot of fun! I tried two piping techniques. First, I made the ring of stars around the side of the cake to hide the seam between the two layers. Then, I tried a shell border around the top edge of the cake. My finishing touches were the stars in the middle.

My work wasn’t perfect. Both the stars and the shells vary in size a bit around the cake. Also, I didn’t always manage to space the shells correctly. But I’m very proud of the overall result! I didn’t use all the frosting, so the left overs are in my fridge. I want to practice my piping techniques more, so who knows? Maybe I’ll make some cupcakes later this week.

About the cake:

The recipe didn’t specify what kind of black tea to use. Seeing as I currently have a tin of chai in loose leaf form, I went with that, although I almost used a few teabags of English breakfast. I think chai was a really nice choice. I tried this recipe sometime before coming to Japan. I can’t remember what sort of tea I used then, but whatever it was, its flavor didn’t hold up nearly as well as the chai does against the other flavors of the cake.

I initially had a bit of an issue baking the cake when I realized my oven was too small to hold two cake pans on the same rack and that the top rack was much, much hotter than the lower one. However, flipping the positions of the two cakes half way through the time in the oven seemed to fix the problem just fine and the final product came out moist and wonderful.

The cake is sweet, but not overly so. Also, the tea flavor is mild and blends nicely with the other flavors of the cake, especially the honey in the frosting. As you can see from the pictures, I didn’t use as much frosting as I could have. Truthfully, I wish I had put more in between the two layers of the cake (I’m happy with the amount on the top). But the cake was moist enough on its own that it didn’t need the icing to help it in that regard. The icing just brought another flavor to it.

In conclusion, I’d definitely recommend this cake and recipes to others. If you like tea (or even if you don’t), check it out!

Black Tea Cake with Honey Buttercream Frosting
Recipe from Pastry Affair

Today’s black tea of choice: chai

I made a thing today. :D

Pictures will most likely come tomorrow.

(Source: kiyomiis, via bubblesofrinia)

manycardigans:

bagellovers:

This Winter Keep Warm With Grated Daikon Radish Sculptures in Your Nabe.

http://www.spoon-tamago.com/2014/10/07/this-winter-keep-warm-with-grated-daikon-radish-sculptures-in-your-nabe/

Good idea for this weekend’s nabe party. It’ll be interesting trying to fit 10 people in my living room..

shinsekai251:

今夜「大家族」と一緒にお好み焼きを食べに行ったんだ〜。😁 美味しいと思うけど大阪の作り方の方好きと思う。😉 #japan #nihon #workandtravel #food #foodporn (優乃華 イムズ店)

shinsekai251:

今夜「大家族」と一緒にお好み焼きを食べに行ったんだ〜。😁
美味しいと思うけど大阪の作り方の方好きと思う。😉 #japan #nihon #workandtravel #food #foodporn (優乃華 イムズ店)

officebento:

Jasmine rice + Thai basil stir fry with red cabbage, carrots, broccoli, and soy chick’n

officebento:

Jasmine rice + Thai basil stir fry with red cabbage, carrots, broccoli, and soy chick’n