From February

I was short in time to keep up my English blog. It doesn’t mean that I neglect this blog; it’s on my agenda all the time but hardly can keep it up. Anyway, these are just a few pics of what I’ve created so far lately.

I always love to make something new. The top photo is a big macaron cake for an elaborated tea class in Tokyo. I created this cake filled with Zubrocka tea-flavored chocolate ganache cream and raspberry mousse, biscuit au chocolat sans farine, glacage chocolat, and a dash of Sakura powder for a hint of spring accent.

And of course, I like to make something old, too, like le fraisier here. It’s a strawberry cake which French people like as a strawberry short cake for the Americans. It’s filled with lots of strawberries and vanilla mousseline cream which consists of custard cream and fermented butter. It sounds heavy but with real good butter, it turns out to be light! Japanese strawberries come in many varieties with succulent sweet flavor. As spring comes, le Fraisier brings me many memories of this gateau in France.

By the way, the red powder on top of the cake is natural strawberry powder from Germany. It tastes like real strawberries!

This is a Charlotte cake filled with orange flower water-flavored grapefruit and Mascarpone mousse and wild-strawberry mousse inside. It’s covered with grapefruit juice jelly.

We have this cat at home. He’s handful but cheer us up all the time! During a cold season, he sleeps with me in Futon. He can fetch like a dog with a stick sugar! If I throw a stick sugar, he goes to play with it first and then gets it in his mouth, and brings it over to me so that I can throw it away for him… I bet his past life was a dog!

Yet another cake. It looks frozen. It is indeed frozen in order to travel to a  long distance to a customer who has requested the cake.

And this one, too. All cakes come in different flavors and decorations. They are all unique.

These coconut and Sakura cookies are filled with Sakura-flavored white chocolate cream. It’s truly yummy-cious!

Lastly, a shiny chocolate cake is made with raspberry mousse and star anise chocolate mousse. Star anise gives such a delicious accent to this cake.


Crossing the Sydney Harbour Bridge

During our brief stay in Sydney, one morning, we crossed the Sydney Harbour Bridge from the Milsons Point Station (near the Luna Park). Actually, I wanted to take a tour to climb on the top of the bridge but it was very expensive, so I had to dismiss the idea… Instead, we just crossed the bridge to the Circular Quay on foot.

On the bridge, trains, all kinds of vehicles, and pedestrians can pass on the destined areas.

This is for pedestrians. The tower is for a look-out where you can see the entire harbor and the City.

Of course, from the bridge, you can see the Opera House. Inside the bay, there are many ferries sailing outwardly to different destinations.

The Circular Quay (the Sydney Cove) and the City.

In the morning, we’ve strolled around the Rocks where possesses reminiscence of the olden-days glory.

There are quite a few cafes and restaurants, galleries, and small but enchanting shops.

Looking into show windows, wooing pastries and exquisitely-made buttons, etc., and eying interesting historical monuments were such fun!

Oh boy, I eyed on my future car on the street! This BMW is just a type of a car I want. (laugh)

Playfair Street is one of the famous streets in the Rocks.

I like this post. Don’t you think it’s cute?

The historical monument and the modern high-raised apartment behind are in one shot on the Playfair Street.

At this shop, there are many fascinating honey-related items. We bought Australian-made honeys and honey tea for souvenirs.

While wondering around the Rocks, we found the Susannah Place Museum which is a tiny-cozy museum. Inside is just enchanting! I wanted to take photos but I refrained from the idea with my big camera. They sell all items in old-fashioned looking containers and packages which are simply mesmerizing!

I just shot outside of the museum shop.

It’s like an open-air old-fashioned furniture object. One may sit on the bench nearby, and have lunch or snack here, if he/she likes.

Walking away from the Rocks to the downtown was somehow done without a map. Was it a miracle? We wanted to go to the David Jones Department Store to buy some gourmet salts and English tea where our friend took us once already. Well, I thought, I remembered some streets and buildings and if we got lost, we could always ask people on the street.

Anyway, we made it to the David Jones safely and bought things and even had a tea time!

We found the Louis Vuitton on some street. And I was fascinated with the show windows! With Vuitton’s items, the artists made Australian wild life animals such as a crocodile, kangaroo, wambad, koala, and etc.

 Once I started taking pictures, quite a few tourists gathered up and started taking their own photos of these wonderful artistic creations.


Australia, here we come!

We visited a part of Australia last month, mainly the Blue Mountains and Sydney. We have a friend who lives down there, so we stayed with her kind family. Since we love walking in nature, we’ve walked 2 to 3 hours every day wondering in the canyons and forests while in the Blue Mountains. We were blessed with the good weather there, and enjoyed every moment in outdoor.

In the Blue Mountains, there are countless waterfalls everywhere; they come in all different sizes and locations but all of them possess such beauty.

There were beautiful and colorful cockatoos and parrots in wild deep in the mountains and near the residential areas. Australian opossums are everywhere in vicinity near the mountains. They are different from the cousins in the North America. Australian opossums are, I heard, marsupials. We saw one big one and the other one was a bit smaller running and chasing on the top of the friend’s roof one evening. It was hilarious to see them!

On such occasions, we were usually outside cooking on the BBQ grill or reading or/and chatting on the porch. One lovely evening, we cooked tender lambs and red-meat kangaroo! It was our first time to eat kangaroo. Against my previous thought, I became a bit courageous and tried the meat.  Guess what!? It was really good! Sylvain grilled the meat just perfectly so that it didn’t get tough. He served it with a succulent sauce with a hint of fruit and spices. The kangaroo meat was amazingly good, I tell you.

I also tried so-called “Ginger Beer” which, to me, is sweeter and stronger than normal ginger ale.

In Sydney, we went to meet some koala bears. But they are not actually bears. They are marsupials similar to Wambat. They usually sleep more than 20 hours a day!

We visited an astonishing botanical park near the Opera House which was enjoyable and lovely in the early evening.

Sydney is such a pleasant city. It’s stimulating but with a good atmosphere.

We saw a just-married couple on front of the Opera House.

During our walk in the City, I found the Louis Vuitton shop. Its display was uniquely artistic! This one depicts an Australian Crocodile decorated with the Vuitton’s bags.

One day we had a 30-minute ferry ride to Manly. It’s a beautiful seaside town with lots of visitors on the beaches.

The water was pretty cold!

This is near the Circular Quay. It’s good walking around there with lots of small sophisticated shops, galleries, cafes, and restaurants.

It’s like a huge ship but under there was several restaurants. The air was light and pleasant.

The view of the Opera House from the Luna Park area at night. It was simply gorgeous!

It was a heart-warming and truly enjoyable trip! Thanks to our friends down under!!! One day we shall return there, for sure.


December has arrived already!

This year has been really warm; as a consequence,  the foliage didn’t change its colors properly. It’s dull all over. Quel domage! On the contrary, tastes of autumn fruits are sweeter and better this year due to the long hot summer. Apples are yummy, so I made a simple apple pie with a ready-made pie sheet and Kogyoku (red ball, if I translate in English.) which is similar to Mackintosh. I sprinkle some brown sugar and cinnamon for the taste.

And it’s a season for juicy succulent pears in different shapes and flavor.  In Japan, the most popular pear is called La France. We bought three boxes of it. And I made Pear & Parmigiano Reggiano tart and also this Pear-Caramel Entremet. This is my favorite cake which was served as our wedding cake as well.

I’ve made some cookies without butter (now in Japan, butter is scarce) , stollen,  some birthday cakes, a few anniversary tarts, French macarons, and madeleine with organic lemon zest.

Yuzu is in full season now. This fragrant citrus fruit is wonderfully flavorful. The scent is awesome! We usually use its skin to enhance a flavor, but this time I squeezed Yuzu to get some juice. The rest of its skins became home-made Yuzu peels. Anyway, its juice along with grapefruit and lemon juice has converted into pate-de-fruit. It’s somewhat like a gummy in texture (softer), and fruitier than that.

Another birthday cake. The cake is made of Damask-rose flavored white chocolate mousse with raspberry-lychee mousse and raspberry ganache (chocolate cream) inside.

This is a pastry called Religeuse in French. It’s made out of puff-pastries and cream and sugar fondant. I put strawberry cream in the bottom and the top with pistachio custard cream decorated with a collar-like chocolate disc. It has to be looked like a nun in a way like its French name.

When Fall comes, we make Cannele de Bordeaux which is a regional pastry of Bordeaux in France. Its unique shape is from a particularly-made copper Cannele mold. It needs to be baked in dark brown to enhance its flavor.

And the rest, preparation for Christmas! But in rural areas in Japan, Christmas atmosphere/spirit is a far-cry from the one in Western countries. I don’t feel any Christmas spirit at all here, which is sad…