Castella honey cake has been a treasured gift in Japan since the 1600s. Portuguese sailors and merchants brought Paõ de Castela, Bread of Castile to Japan in the 1600s. Even when all foreigners were kicked out of the country by the Tokugawa shogunate for 200 years, the cake stayed. For several centuries the treat was reserved for rich folk – like the Emperor! Today the royal dessert is readily available to all.
Roxana of HomeBaking.com, and the monthly #Chocolate Party may be a hostess with the “mostest” chocolate recipes on the web. Her March challenge to fellow food bloggers is to marry caramel and chocolate in one treat. In my mind that translates to a sweet that’s cute and petite. Why? In my hometown of Tokyo, caramels and chocolates come packaged as pretty little presents.So, keeping with tradition, I produced petite banana cakes packed with mini chocolate chips and iced with caramel.
After the traditional formal visit to the temple with family on New Year’s Day; on January 2nd, many females trade their kimono for blue jeans and join the throngs at trendy boutiques and department stores where good fortune fukubukuro bags await. To make way for 2013 merchandise, inventory from 2012 is sold at half price in sealed bags imprinted with the ?Chinese character for Good Fortune. (As well as characters for male?, female?, and child ?.) The chic spots in town sell out quickly. Sisters and girlfriends are blessings at this time because the more in the group, the better trades and exchanges of items from the bags. Of course, venues catering to men also sell fukubukuro bags. Typically though the shoppers are women. (No surprise for anyone living on planet earth, right?)
The Ninja Baker’s bucket list includes another trip to Tokyo where I can partake in this exciting Japanese shopping adventure. In the meantime, to commemorate this fun occasion, I’ve fashioned my own good fortune: Japanese-Style Ninja Baker sealed crescent roll Pockets of Prosperity. Want to join the fun? Well, then, please read on.
Do you have a favorite childhood comfort food meal? Mine was tonkatsu - fried pork cutlets.
As a grownup I try to be a bit more health conscious. I've created two vegetarian twists to the beloved New Orleans Chef Emeril Lagasse's Pork Tonkatsu Sandwich recipe. Read on for the remarkable substitutes found at most markets.