Ja-pan literally translated from Japanese to mean Japanese or Japan bread or could also relate to the absolutely hilarious, punny (funny), and genius show called Yakitate!! Japan.

I am absolutely in love with this anime show about a tensai-pan or bread genius boy whom is passionate about bread making and tells of his story in wanting to create Japan's own bread to call of their own.

It's just too funny at times that I can almost die several times over from laughing at their over-the-top reactions, elaborate antics, crazy expressions and outrageous situations. What more could one expect from an anime that explores the world of competitive bread making and celebrating the lives of ludicrously but extravagantly portrayed bread artisans.

I'm almost a third way through with the show but I believe that it can only get better from here on till the end. Stay tuned for an update on this review.

Well I finished watching the whole 69 episodes show of Yakitate!! Japan and overall I was satisfied and amusedly entertained throughout its entirety. Absolutely fun show to watch as the play on the Japanese words and phrases was used a lot resulting in many a crazy situations. There was not much suspense in the show as what other animes usually have but the multitude of pop culture references, parodies of other animes and even themselves, and continuously breaking the fourth wall with comedic and pitch perfect effect was what kept the show alive and different from other food-related anime shows.

I was just a bit disappointed with how the show ended as the last 3-4 episodes is actually not based on the manga and so it didn't feel like a proper ending to the series. The final episode was actually a bit of an anticlimax and I think the producers of the anime could have done a better job of wrapping up the series if they had worked a bit harder at tying up some loose ends. Even though the 69th episode was the last one, I felt that they actually left quite a wide opening for a continuation of the show if they wanted to.

The manga continued on from after the third last battle of the breads so there is a lot more to go and explore for the Japan team. I'll be looking forward to more madness from Kuroyanagi aka Kuro-yan, hilarity from Kappachi Kawachi, and geniusity from Azuma-kun!

I feel quite inspired to throw myself back into bread making but that horrible first time that I tried handling yeast was enough to set me back a few. But maybe with this show I'd be able to rekindle my love for bread and try it again. Hopefully I will soon enough and I'd be sure to blog about it. Just thinking of those yummy looking breads in the show like the many-layer-croissant, butter margarine roll, melon-pan, naan-pan, and lots of other different types of bread that you couldn't even possibly imagine.

cuppy cakes

In light of graduation week at University of Melbourne this week I decided to be indulgent and extravagant and made death-by-chocolate cupcakes for two of my lovely friends who graduated today and the other to be graduating tomorrow.

The recipe comes from Su Yin once again and took literally minutes to come together and popped into the oven and came out smelling awesome and looked delicious. The dome cracked a little perfectly and the texture was light and fluffy without
being too sweet or dense like some cupcakes can be, which resemble more of a cake type texture.

After letting the cupcakes to cool down I melted down some Nestle Dark Chocolate Melts in the microwave and slathered them on top of the cupcakes and some I even created a shallow cavity in the cupcake and filled them up with the chocolate. Once cooled, the chocolate actually hardened up and when bitten into, it feels like the cupcake has a hidden chocolate piece filling.

The finishing touches after the frosting and slathering was some liberal sprinkling oficing sugar to give it that fancy look and for a bit of colour even though it is white.

I'm not really much for absolute chocolate cupcakes or muffins but they do look pretty I have to admit. I will be trying out more new cupcake recipes and making my own frostings and ganaches in due time.

fruit cake cookie

I'm not sure if one would call these tiny munchies fruit cake cookies but they do taste like a piece of fruit cake but in a more compact, crunchier, and denser like form. The recipe came from this site, much thanks to Su Yin and her lovely recipes, which I modified a bit with taking some liberties in the additions of mixed fruits and slivered almonds and the non-addition of chocolate chips simply because I didn't have any. Embarrassing I know.

Well I have been on the ball with the cookie baking frenzy taking over me again and this was what I came up with. But it's also due in part to needing to finish up my baking supplies before I return to KL for a break and I really can't buy any more baking products so that is why for the lack of chocolate chips which is a shame really.

Anyway, back to the cookie. I decided to make them smaller than the average cookie because of the many ingredients in it. Also I actually expected the cookie to spread a lot more once they were done but it didn't. Nevertheless the taste test proved that it was still good and fit for consumption and surprisingly turned out to be somewhat festive too in its appearance and taste-wise.

Fruit Cake Cookie

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup softened margarine
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup almonds (slivered or chopped roughly)
1/2 cup dried fruits (diced if they are not chopped up already)

1. Cream sugar and margarine till fluffy.
2. Combine egg and vanilla with mixture till just come together and same consistency. Don't overmix.
3. Combine the rest of the ingredients into the batter.
4. Shape the dough into rounded balls and place them apart about 1 inch on grease proof paper.
5. Bake in preheated oven at 180 C for 10-15 minutes till lightly golden brown on top.

Makes about 4 dozen small bite sized cookies.

I quite like these ones but I can't help thinking how much a difference it would have made if I had included those yummy melty chocolate chips in them if I actually did have them. Sigh. I might try them again but will use chocolate chips and maybe roast the almonds as well to give the cookies a nuttier flavour.

anzac biccies

Here's a very simple and quick ANZAC biscuit recipe I used today but altered slightly.

The finished product came out a bit chewier than usual ANZAC cookies are supposed to be I think but that's only probably because I couldn't wait to try one of them babies. I think I actually prefer them chewy than their usual crunchiness that you get from store bought ones. But they'll likely to firm up when they cool down later.

ANZAC Biscuit (altered version from this site)

2 cups rolled oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 brown sugar
1/2 cup melted margarine
1 tbs honey
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbs boiling water

1. Combine the rolled oats, flour, sugar with the melted margarine in a big mixing bowl till they just come together.
2. Combine the honey, baking powder and boiled water in a small bowl or mug till they are dissolved.
3. Combine the dry and wet mixture.
4. Roll the dough into round shaped and of equal thickness balls and flattened lightly and place them about an inch apart from each other onto greased baking paper.
5. Bake them in a preheated oven at 180 C for 20 minutes till they are brown on top.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies depending on the size and shape.

Crunchy on the outside, slightly chewy on the inside, filled with oaty goodness, with just enough sweetness to not overpower the honey taste. These yummy morsels of oaty honey-ness are a keeper.

quiche for a cloudy day

With almost nothing much to occupy my time with except for books and movies, sometimes you just need to liven things up a bit with some haberdashing of ingredients and throwing them together to see what you can get out of them.

Thinking of what I should eat for lunch I scrounged my refridgerator and the pantry and procured these items:

Last two sheets of puff pastry
Soy milk
Half a package of shredded tasty cheese


Then just for sheer fun and the heck of it, I decided to try my hand at a quiche dish with these few ingredients. I have never even looked a quiche recipe before but I think just at that time I figured out not too hard that a quiche was basically just beaten eggs combined with whatever other items you liked in it.

Mini Me Quiche

5-6 eggs

2 tbs milk (soy or light will work fine)
Finely diced 2 cloves of garlic and a small onion
1/2 cup shredded cheese (tasty, parmesan, mozarella will likely work fine)
2 rolled out and thawed puff pastry sheets

1. Cut the sheets into shapes that will fit into a 12 muffin case tray. Ensure that the sheets cover the base and around the sides of the holes so that the pastry dough reaches the lip of the hole.
2. Crack the eggs into a medium sized mixing bowl and beat together with the garlic and onion.

3. Add the cheese and milk and continue beating the mixture till it looks a shade lighter than when you started. Don't overmix till it becomes pale or fluffy.
4. Divide the mixture evenly among the 12 holes trying not to overfill them.
5. Bake in preheated oven at 200 C for 20 minutes turning the tray halfway through to ensure the heat is distributed evenly.
6. Let cool for few minutes as it will deflate a little when cooling down.

I had mine accompanied by some warmed up baked beans sprinkled with paprika and pepper and barbecue sauce goes well with this as well.

I'm still contemplating on my next foray back into the world of sweet pastries and confections. But with my ever expanding waistline that could be put on hold for a while.