Genoise Sponge Cake Recipe

Low-Carb Genoise Sponge Cake:

4.5 ounces of flour substitute (I use 3 parts almond flour and 1 part coconut flour, plus 1 teaspoon of guar gum per each 1 cup of flour substitute)
2 ounces butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 eggs
7 ounces sweetener (I recommend a mix of mostly erythritol or xylitol, with a little bit of maltitol or isomalt for structural support)
1 teaspoon vanilla

This recipe makes a 18" by 13" sheet cake or one 9" round cake.

"Set a saucepan big enough to hold your mixer bowl on the stove with an inch of water in it. Bring it to a simmer. Meanwhile, sift the flour and salt together into a medium bowl. Melt the butter in a small saucepan and set aside.
Pour the [sweetener] into the mixer bowl, add the eggs and whisk to combine. Set the mixer bowl over the pan of water and heat the mixture until it’s warm to the touch (no more than 120 degrees). What you’re trying to do is simply melt the sweetener…don’t cook the eggs! It’ll only take a minute or so.
Remove the bowl from the heat and, using the paddle attachment, beat the mixture on medium high until it’s very light and foamy, about triple its original volume (this will take up to ten minutes with a stand mixer). Add the vanilla and beat an additional 10-15 seconds.
Pour a cup or so of the egg foam into the cooled melted butter and stir it until it’s completely incorporated, then gently pour the mixture back into the mixer bowl (this eases the incorporation of the butter into the batter). Next, sprinkle the flour substitute mixture into the mixer bowl and carefully fold (instructions under the “Techniques” menu to the right) until the flour mixture and the butter mixture are completely incorporated. Gently pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake until the cake is a pale gold color and springs back lightly when touched." -directions from JoePastry site linked above

Mikan (Mandarin Orange) Petits Fours Recipe

Mikans are a type of Mandarin Orange grown in Wakayama Prefecture in Japan. They were in season when I stayed there this summer, and so I made some low-carb petits fours (tea cakes) flavored with mikan curd.

#1 Moist Sponge Cake:

#2 Mikan Curd:


Use mikan/tangerine/madarin orange juice for the citrus juice, along with the zest from the fruit you picked.

#3 White Mirror Glaze

(So, the recipe I used in the video of this dessert is a really bad one, so please ignore that recipe and use this once instead.)

#4 Assembly:

Slice the cooled cake into three horizontal layers. Place the first slice into the bottom of a container that fits it snugly and top it with a layer of chilled mikan curd (line the container first with clear cling wrap so that you can easily remove it later). Repeat once more, then top with the last layer of cake and freeze the entire dessert for at least 1 hour, or until frozen through. 

Remove from the container and trim or smooth down the sides until you like the look of the cake. Return to the freezer while you re-heat your glaze. Once the glaze has reached between 90-94F, take out your cake, place it on a stable item that is slightly smaller than it, with a pan or baking sheet underneath everything to catch the excess glaze. Pour the glaze over the entire cake, making sure to cover all sides. Let the glaze finish dripping off, then go ahead and smooth off the bottom edges and move directly to a serving platter. Put the cake in the fridge for an hour to defrost (will take longer if it is a larger cake) before serving. 

White Mirror Glaze Recipe

Low-carb White Mirror Glaze:

Adapted from this recipe: http://www.chefiso.com/p/white-chocolate-mirror-glaze-recipe

300g cacao butter (or sugar free white chocolate, just reduce the amount of sweetener used below)
150g water
350g erythritol/xylitol
100g cream
50g maltitol or isomalt syrup
a pinch of salt
20g powdered gelatin

Bloom the gelatin in an equal amount of cold water and set aside.
Heat the water, sweeteners, cream, and syrup until fully dissolved and well combined.
Remove from the stove and add the soaked gelatin, mixing until dissolved.
Pour this mixture over the cacao butter and wait about 5 minutes for it to melt. Using an immersion or regular blender, blend until smooth and emulsified.
Strain this through a seive and chill either in an ice bath or in the fridge, stirring regularly to prevent a skin from forming on the top.
Once the glaze has reached between 90-94F, pour it over your prepared and fully-frozen dessert. (The link above shows the original recipe and a video demonstrating this whole process.) Once it has finished dripping, smooth down the bottom edges and transfer to the final serving platter, then place in the fridge to fully defrost (1-4 hours depending on size).

Citrus Curd Recipe

No-sugar-added Citrus Curd:

1 cup of citrus juice
the zest of one large citrus fruit
1 large egg
2 large yolks
1/4 cup of erythritol or xylitol
4 tablespoons of cubed butter
a pinch of salt

Whisk together the egg, yolks and sweetener until fully combined, then add the zest and juice until well mixed. Heat over low flame, stirring constantly, until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and is just on the verge of boiling. If you have a thermometer do not let it pass 180F. Strain the mixture into a bowl and mix in the butter cubes and salt. Chill thoroughly before using.

Dense Vanilla Cake Recipe

Low-Carb Dense Vanilla Cake:

Adapted from the cake recipe here: http://joyfilledeats.com/tres-leches-cake/

(I made a one-portion version of this recipe, so just multiply the amounts if you want a larger cake(s)).

1 large egg
1 tablespoon of erythritol or xylitol (add more if not adding frosting/glaze/filling later)
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla essence
1 tablespoon of cream
3 tablespoons of flour substitute (I use 3 parts almond flour, 1 part coconut flour, and a teaspoon of guar gum per cup of final mixture)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350F.
Beat the sweetener, vanilla, cream and the egg until well combined. Mix the flour substitute, baking powder, and salt together in a separate bowl, then mix into liquids. Pour into a suitable baking pan or cupcake liner and bake for 10 minutes. If a toothpick or knife inserted into the middle does not come out clean, bake for an additional 5 minutes. Cool fully before slicing.


North American VS Chinese Dining Etiquette (Video)

Photo Credits:

American meal photo credit: a year at the table - 121 via photopin (license)
Black slippers photo credit: Slipper 347/365 via photopin (license)
Flipflips photo credit: Haivaianas 210/365 via photopin (license)
Bowl of rice photo credit: Stir Fry I made one Day via photopin (license)
Sandwich with soup photo credit: Strawberry & Goat Cheese Panini via photopin (license)
Meat and pasta photo credit: Boeuf Bourguignon via photopin (license)
Pour tea photo credit: Afternoon Tea via photopin (license)
Western plate setting photo credit: Presentation is Everything via photopin (license)
Bbq ribs photo credit: _BRK4798 via photopin (license)
Cutlery placement photo credit: life : bobbivie + wonderings #135 via photopin (license)
Chopsticks on bowl photo credit: Tonkotsu Ramen via photopin (license)
Chopsticks on holder photo credit: Chopsticks via photopin (license)


Sesame Sponge Cakes with Sweet Bean Paste Recipe

This is what we're deconstructing:

Fried Sesame Mochi Balls with Sweet Bean Filling 芝麻球

#1: Sesame Sponge Cake

1 batch of cake syrup (made with erythritol, stevia, or xylitol)
a few drops of sesame oil

Simply add a few drops of sesame oil (which is very strong stuff) to your cake syrup until it starts smelling like sesame, and then soak the genoise with it.

#2: Sweet Red Bean Paste

1 batch of homemade red bean paste sweetened with your choice of sweetener

Either fill small molds with the paste and then freeze before removing, or spread the paste in between layers of cake.

#3: Sesame Tuile Cookies

1 batch of tuile dough
1/4-1/2 cup of sesame seeds, depending on how much you like them
a few drops of sesame oil

Mix in a few drops of sesame oil, and then the amount of sesame seeds you like into the tuile dough until fully combined, then continue with baking directions to make tuile cookies.

photo credits: