Plump, pretty strawberries sway me to their side every time. Japan, my home country, is the world’s biggest consumer of dessert strawberries. This Ninja Baker couldn’t fathom saying no to those gorgeous fruit gems. (Childhood influences are indelible, aren’t they?) So, I plucked the Strawberry Mousse Cake option for this month’s Cake Slice Bakers presentation. Time, however, slipped through my hands. Resigned to my fate, I chose the Chocolate Marble Cake recipe. However, I stole the fresh strawberry frosting from the Strawberry Mousse Cake to top off my Pink Chocolate Marble Cake.
Surprise! The Ninja Baker chose the one Asian accented recipe in Southern Living’s The Southern Cake Book. After all, Japanese food and language were all this Ninja Baker knew until age 5. Tokyo was my hometown until age 18. So, yes, when one of the recipes up for experimentation, I mean baking, for this month’s Cake Slice Bakers was Green Tea Honeysuckle Cake, there was no waffling. But, seriously, who knew that besides sweet tea, Southerners have a thing for green tea?
From trying other green tea matcha recipes penned by foreigners, I suspected that more matcha was required. I’m blonde and probably not allowed to use that word. So...
With the arrival of spring across the Northern Hemisphere, Japanese plum wine is spot on for sipping or pouring into cake. In Japan, flowering plums precede its more famous sakura cherry blossom cousin. Plum blossom viewing parties also commenced long before the idea of a cherry blossom viewing party came into fruition. The change in popularity occurred about the time political allegiances transpired. (When the capital of Japan moved from Nara to Kyoto. The current capital of Japan is Tokyo.) However, the Japanese plum blossom was never banished.
Plum blossoms may currently take second place to the cherry blossom in terms of popularity. But, Japanese plum blossom festivals and parties are sprinkled throughout Japan. The flower and fruit of the Japanese plum blossom continue to thrive in Japanese culture and cuisine.
When Life gives you lemons, make Sugar Free Lemon Brasadella Italian Coffee Cake! What is the sourest lemon sentence you can give a foodie? A doctor demanding a reduction in sugar, threatening diabetes gave this Ninja Baker a wake-up call. Good news is I lowered my numbers and am no longer on the diabetes precipice. I also learned to eat protein before diving into dessert. Previously I skipped the bacon and filled up a ginormous frozen yogurt cup...Sugar-free, gluten-free Lemon Brasadella Italian Coffee Cake baking in the oven smells luscious. Lemon scents wafting through the apartment had me hopeful. Turning the lemon coffee cake out of the bundt pan proved promising, too.
Dorothy clicks her ruby red slippers and declares three-times: “There’s no place like home.” Magically, the little girl and her dog, Toto are transported back to safety and comfort. Do you ever wish you could click your heels and go back in time? When challenged with the unfamiliar, foods singing of childhood memories do seem to beckon this Ninja Baker.
Japanese Pocky is one of those foods for me. You know the skinny cookie/biscuit stick dipped in classic chocolate or strawberry cream or green tea matcha? In my hometown of Tokyo, Pocky is the perfect snack for transporting on the train. The chocolate topping melts in your mouth, not on your hands. (Yes, Pocky could be the M & Ms of the cookie family.) Plus, who can beat the combo of chocolate and cookies in one bite?