When we were kids, my sister and I always looked forward to getting the Japanese cake kasutera カステラ (蜂蜜蛋糕 in Chinese) from Vancouver.
I don’t think we’ve had it since, but I finally made it! I primarily used Japanese Cooking 101‘s recipe but I also incorporated some tips from Just One Cookbook‘s version as well (most notably, the honey glaze). I have a feeling this recipe is going to be one of my go-tos when it comes to baking for groups.
For my Chinese New Year dinner party yesterday I made the Cream Cheese Pound Cake III recipe by Nanci. It was moist, dense, and rich, exactly what I was looking for. (I took this picture before I glazed it, but it still looked great.) Plus, I needed an excuse to use my Bundt pan.
Growing up, I generally disliked sticky rice cakes (niángāo 粘糕) during New Year’s. And of course, I mean Chinese New Year, as the Gregorian new year rarely meant anything more to me than having to mess up date-writing for the next thirty days. To me CNY rice cakes were overly sweet, gooey, and niángāo was basically the holiday’s analogue to the Christmas fruitcake (and not in a good way). This New Year, I set about looking for a new recipe.
The one I used was from Jeanette’s Healthy Living, though I did make a couple small modifications: I used light coconut milk, vanilla extract, and canola oil instead. The results were great, and the texture ended being more similar to kuih (which is definitely a good thing!). I’m definitely going to have to look for excuses to make this outside of the holiday season.
I’ve made chocolate chip cookies dozens of times – they’re the best, non-offensive, non-adventurous option for baking for large groups of people – but I realized I had never made the classic Toll House recipe. It was amazing! No fancy use of bread/cake flour, dark chocolate, or anything.