Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Kyoto (2010): Nakamura-Ro Kaiseki

This is the continuation of our trip in Japan (ancient post, I apologize for not posting this sooner for those that asked about Kyoto/Osaka ; _ ; ). We went to Kyoto after Tokyo by Shinkansen. This time we took the fastest Shinkansen - Nozomi - and it took us just a little over 2 hours to get there (waaaay faster than the Kodomo Shinkansen we took to see Fuji-san and thankfully no delay due to earthquake that time).

Right after we arrived, we set off to our lunch place - Nakamura-Ro, which started as a teahouse and is now said to be one of the the oldest restaurant (more than 400 years). The restaurant is basically inside Yasaka-jinja's ground (one of the must-see places in Kyoto).

The view from our seats.

The season's menu.
We wanted to try two different set of kaiseki - a bigger one (¥ 8,100, if I am not mistaken) and a smaller one (¥ 6,100). Unfortunately, we were told that we can only order the same set so that they can serve it at the same time (or something like that). In the end, we settled for the middle one (¥ 7,100) - which was apparently what most of the customers ordered.

First up, Hiyashi-bachi (served only in summer, literally means chilled bowl).

-Grill tomato, okra, lotus root in tosa soy sauce
A mouthful of flavor - sweet, sour, tart, and bland. Not to mention different textures too - soft, gooey, and crunchy. Definitely a wonderful dish to start off with.
Even now, I can still remember the flavor and texture...mmm....I can almost taste it....

Next, Sakizuke (bite-sized appetizer).
- Paper-thin egg rolled with snapper dipped vinegar
- Japanese sweet potato
- Shredded potato and sliced salmon
The egg with snapper is absolutely amazing.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


Quick and easy - perfect when you need a quick fix or when you are just plain lazy.

My last bake for now as we're renovating the house. -sighs- Probably will post up stuff from my travels (some are ancient).

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Vanilla Cupcakes

Vanilla Cupcakes
Recipe adapted from Joy of Baking
Makes 12 cupcakes


113 g
Unsalted butter, room temperature
130 g
Granulated white sugar
3 large
1 tsp
Pure vanilla extract Vanilla bean
Large lemon zest
195 g
All purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp
Baking powder
1/4 tsp
60 ml

1.      Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.
2.      In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 
3.      Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon zest. 
4.      In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
5.      With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
6.      Evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter and bake for about 17 - 20 minutes or just until set and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. (Do not over bake or the cupcakes will be dry.)
7.      Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, frost with icing. 

I did not follow the vanilla buttercream frosting recipe and the result? Disaster. I did not have the recipe with me that time and had no access to any buttercream recipe (missing recipe books!), I can only based it on my poor poor memory. As if that wasn't bad enough, I somehow had my icing sugar mixed with coarse sugar!!! So I ended up with crunchy vanilla buttercream. ; _ ;

The cupcakes are great though. Moist, light, and fluffy; even on the next day after being refrigerated.

Currently looking for buttercream recipe (any flavor) and those that withstand humid/hot weather. Recommendation please? =D