Tuesday, December 26, 2006

day after christmas

It is the day after Christmas, are you at the malls? It is just another day here in Japan, in fact, a lot of people are trying to get ready to welcome the New Year--I'll post about that as we get closer to the day.

A while back, I bought a chocolate cookbook, which I posted about here. Remember I also received some dried figs? Well, since I had a bottle of red wine open, I was finally able to try this recipe.

Ganache Figue makes about 16 pieces
5 dried figs
3/4 cup red wine
1/2 cinnamon stick
3 whole black peppers
1 whole clove
125g sweet chocolate
100ml cream
cocoa powder

1. In a pot, put the wine, cinnamon, pepper & clove and bring to a boil. When it comes to a boil, turn down to simmer for 5 minutes.
2. Add the dried figs and let come to a light boil. Turn off heat and put lid on, leave contents in pot overnight.
3. The next day, take the figs out and cut into 1 cm pieces. Save the mulled wine.
4. Cut the chocolate into small pieces and put into a bowl.
5. In a pot, heat the cream on medium heat, before it comes to a boil, turn off the heat. Add the cream to the chocolate and mix with a whisk.
6. When the chocolate and cream is combined, add the figs and 3 tablespoons of the mulled wine. Let cool.
7. After cool, spoon out into 16 balls and place onto a parchment sheet.
8. Cool in refrig for 20 to 30 minutes. Using your hands re-mold it to look like a fig and cover in cocoa powder. From the mulled wine, take the cinnamon stick and cut slivers to be used as the stem of the fig.

NOTES: I ended up with about 20 pieces--I cut the figs into 4 pieces. I didn't add the 3 tablespoons of the wine, I only added 1 because I don't care too much for liquor chocolates. I also didn't read the recipe well and I cooled the chocolate in the refrig and ended up with quite a hard mess. I also didn't use the cinnamon stick slivers at the end. The figs were well soaked and it didn't taste too winey. And because I used dark chocolate, instead of sweet chocolate, it matched well with the wine taste.

The other day, I also received daikon (long white turnip) from a friend, so I tried a recipe for Japanese pickles called takuan. I got the recipe from my mom's church's cookbook. This was really easy to make.

Here's the recipe from "Wisteria Delights"
3 T. salt
3/4 c. Japanese vinegar (rice vinegar)
1-1/2 c. sugar
1/4 tsp yellow food coloring
3 or 4 medium white turnips

Boil the salt, vinegar and sugar until sugar is melted.
Turn off heat, then add food coloring.
Set aside until cool.
Slice turnips, place in a bowl and pour sauce over them.
Leave in bowl, turning often with a wooden spoon.
Next day, put into jars with sauce then refrigerate.
If you like it a little hot, you may add chili peppers to your taste.

NOTES: I didn't add the food coloring.

Hope you are having a great week!


bourgogne said...

omg i can't wait for your osechi ryori posts!

K and S said...

Thanks Bourgogne. Don't know if I'll be able to pull off osechi, but will give it my best shot!

Take care.

Jann said...

you have been pretty busy-no malls for me. I'll stick to the kitchen!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad they turned out well despite the mishaps, I quite like the idea of figs and chocolate!

I hope you and Satoshi had a wonderful Xmas :)

K and S said...

Thanks Jann! The kitchen sounds like a nice place to be.

Thanks Ellie! figs and chocolate really go well together!

Merry Christmas you two!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Hey! I bought that book! In fact, I bought 2 when I was at the senior citizen Fair at Blaisdell. i thought it was so cute the way they made a cloth bag for each of the books. I like the Japanese print bag! Now that I see the takuan you made, I'm going to try it myself...looks ono...thanks for the suggestion!

K and S said...

Hi Pflower,
Glad to hear you have this cookbook. It is written pretty simply so most of the recipes are easy to follow.
Have a great 2007!

Rowena said...

Heh heh...here I am googling a recipe for takuan and yours is the easiest by far! All the others...either they don't have a photo or the instructions are too fussy.

Ok, time to head to the kitchen. Today it's more panda bread and takuan too.

K and S said...

I can see you are craving comforts of home as of late, Rowena :) Hope you like the recipe :)

Take care.