Christmas Cookbook Kindle Edition

Cookbook for Christmas and winter recipes now available on Kindle readers.

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Chestnut Roll Cake

Soft sponge cake with fresh cream and chestnut filling
I like to bake with seasonal ingredients and when it is fall then it is time for chestnuts. Most of the brands of chestnut cream are from France and they can be expensive but they are well worth the money.

The soft sponge cake combined with the fresh cream and chestnut paste is a delicious combination.

The cake is quite easy to put together so take a Saturday afternoon and make a new dessert.

Sponge Cake:

1 egg
5 egg yolks
60 grams flour
10 grams cornstarch
45 grams butter
4 egg whites
95 grams sugar
5 grams cornstarch

1. In a bowl, sift the flour and cornstarch together.
2. In a small sauce pan, melt the butter. Add the flour/cornstarch (60 grams) mixture. Mix with whisk.
3.  Put #2 above into a bowl, add in the 1 egg & the egg yolks (in portions) and mix well with a small whisk.
4. Whip the egg whites until stiff – add the sugar in portions while mixing. Add the 5 grams cornstarch at the end.
5. Mix the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture.  
6. Pour into the baking pan about 20 cm x 20 cm. Spread evenly. Tap once on the table to remove air bubbles.
7. Bake at 170 degrees Celsius for about 20 minutes. Do not over bake or the cake will not be soft enough to roll.

Custard Filling: 

Milk 300 grams
Egg yolks 4
Granular sugar 40 grams
Flour 20 grams
Cornstarch 9 grams
Butter 20 grams
1 teaspoon dark rum
150 grams chestnut cream
Gelatin 6 grams (soften in water and drain the water)
150 grams fresh cream


1. Heat the milk in small saucepan until just boiling.
2. Combine the egg yolks & granular sugar in a bowl and mix well.  Sift the flour/cornstarch and add to the egg yolk mixture.
3. Pour the warm milk into the egg mixture. Pour back into the pan and strain while pouring.
4. Heat until it becomes thickened. Use a whisk to mix
5. Remove the milk mixture from the heat and add the gelatin then the butter.  Mix well to remove any lumps. Put into a bowl then add the chestnut cream and mix.
6. Pour into a bowl and cool until the mixture becomes thickened.
7. Whip the fresh cream into firm peaks.

Putting the cake together:
1. Cut the cake to the correct size and put the cake on top of a piece of plastic wrap.
2. Use a spatula and brush a layer of the fresh cream on the cake. Then add the chestnut topping on top and smooth with a spatula. Be careful not to mix together the cream and chestnut paste.
3. Roll up the cake and use the plastic wrap to leverage the rolling process. Once it is rolled, wrap tightly and put in the refrigerator for about 30  minutes.

Chestnut topping:
200 grams chestnut cream
30 grams fresh cream
3 gram gelatin
1 Heat the 30 grams cream & then added softened gelatin Add to the chestnut cream.
2. Slightly whip the 30 grams cream & add to the above. Decorate the cake using a pastry bag and nozzle with several small holes on in it.


Fall Chestnut Pound Cake

Delicious Chestnut Cake

I always say this, but this cake is quite easy and quick to put together and it is really delicious. The cake will take about 30 minutes to prepare and another 35-40 minutes for baking.

I decorated the top with dried cranberries, pieces of chestnut and simple icing. Check your refrigerator and use whatever you have for decoration.

90 grams butter (softened)
80 grams powdered sugar
10 grams sugar
2 eggs
20 grams almond powder
80 grams flour
3 grams baking powder
100 grams chestnut paste (+ 20 grams)
(add about 15 grams flour to chestnut cream if you don’t have chestnut paste)

1.       Sift together the flour, baking powder and almond powder.
I used this curved pan
but you can use a traditional
loaf pan
2.       Soften the butter with a whisk so that it is creamy. Sift the powdered sugar and add to the butter. Continue mixing with the whisk. Lastly, add the 20 grams chestnut paste and mix.
3.       Use a hand mixer and whip the eggs with the sugar until they are yellow and fluffy.
4.       Add the whipped eggs to the butter mixture in portions. Alternatively, add the flour mixture and mix everything gently with a spatula.
5.       Use a loaf pan that is oval instead of flat on the bottom. Line the pan with baking paper. Fill the pan half way with batter then pipe a line of chestnut paste down the middle of the pan. Then add the remaining batter.
6.       Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 35 – 40 minutes depending on your oven.

Chestnut cream on the left is much
less expensive
I used the chestnut cream on the left since it is about a quarter of the price of the one on the right.


Pipe the chestnut cream down the
center then add the remaining batter

You can also make this cake using a regular pound cake pan.


Apple Caramel Mousse Cake

Ready for dessert!!
This apple mousse cake has several steps to it, but at least one is optional if you don't want to take the trouble.

The best part is the Valhrona Chocolate topping. This white chocolate has hint of caramel to it and is truly delicious. I would eat the whole bag if I could!

Don't skip the chocolate part  since it is the best part of  the cake -- soft and delicious like a brownie.

I used a 18 cm x 6 cm ring to make this cake

80 grams almond powder
80 grams powdered sugar
2 eggs
80 grams egg white
40 grams sugar
20 grams flour
20 grams cocoa powder
20 grams butter (melted)

1.       Sift together the flour and cocoa powder. Sift together the almond powder and powdered sugar.
2.       Melt the butter over hot water.
3.       Mix the egg and add to the almond powder mixture. Use a hand mixer and mix well until turns light yellow color.
4.       Whip the egg whites and the sugar – add the sugar in portions. Add the whipped egg whites to the almond powder mixture and mix with a spatula. Lastly add the melted butter.
5.       Bake in a pan about 20 cm x 20 cm for 18 – 20 minutes.

Next step is to prepare the apples.

1 large apple (peeled and cubed)
20 grams sugar
10 grams butter

1 teaspoon honey

1.       Melt the butter in a fry pan then add the sugar and honey and mix. Add the cut apples and cook for about 10 minutes on medium heat until the apples are soft.
This step could be skipped if you don't have the time.

      Milk Chocolate Ganache
      30 grams fresh cream
      10 grams corn syrup
      35 grams milk chocolate
      1 gram gelatin
1.       Chop the milk chocolate and put in a bowl. Heat the fresh cream in a sauce pan and add the softened gelatin. Pour the cream over the chocolate and mix with a small whisk. Cool before spreading on the cake.

You don't want to skip this next step.

Vanilla Mousse
3 egg yolks
50 grams sugar
250 grams  milk
1/2 vanilla bean
12 grams gelatin
200 grams fresh cream

1. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar.
2. In a saucepan, bring the milk and the vanilla bean (split open and scraped over the milk) to a boil. Slowly pour the milk over the yolks, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan over medium low heat and cook until the cream coats the back of a spoon. Turn off the heat.
3.  Add the softened gelatin and stir until melted completely into the cream.
4.  Strain into another bowl and let cool to room temperature.
5.  Whip the cream to soft peaks and fold it into the cooled cream using a spatula.

White Chocolate Topping
50 grams Valrhona chocolate
25 grams fresh cream
25 grams water
3 grams gelatin
1. Heat the water and cream in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the gelatin and mix well. Pour over the chopped chocolate and mix with a small whisk.
Putting the cake together
1.      Cut the chocolate cake to fit the bottom of a 18 cm ring. Pour the milk chocolate ganache on top and cool in the refrigerator.
2.   Next add some of the vanilla mousse on top of the ganache then put apples on top and add the remaining mousse. Put in the refrigerator to cool.
3.     Prepare the chocolate topping and add on top. Place into the refrigerator to cool.
4.   Use a cooking torch to heat the sides of the ring to remove it. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
This chocolate is delicious and adds a
sophisticated taste to any dessert


Summer Peach Pie

It was a baking day
Peach Pie, Blueberry Crumbles and Focaccia
In spite of the heat, I did some summer baking in July. The peaches and blueberries were in season and I couldn't resist. I needed to invite a few friends over to eat all of this food though!!

The recipe for the blueberry crumbles is here.  I haven't posted the focaccia recipe but I am sure you can find an easy one online.

Feel free to substitute with a pre-made crust if you are in a hurry.

175 grams flour
90 grams cold butter
25 grams almond powder
70 grams powdered sugar
Pinch of salt
35 grams eggs

1. Sift the flour into a bowl. Cut butter into small cubes and mix with the flour using a pastry cutter (use a food processor if you have one). Butter should be well mixed with the flour.

2. Add the almond powder, powdered sugar, egg, sugar, salt and mix. Put dough on a smooth surface and knead gently until it is soft and well mixed.

3. Cover in plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before using. Roll the dough out quickly since it will become soft fast

4 large pieces
50 grams sugar
20 grams butter (room temperature)
20 grams peach liquor

 1.       First step, in a pot of boiling water, blanch the peaches for 3 to 4 minutes. Cool under cold water and then remove the skin. Cut the peaches in quarters.
2.       Melt sugar in a frying pan until just starting to become caramel  color then add the butter and liquor and stir until well mixed then add the peaches. Cook together for about 10 minutes on medium heat.

3.       Drain well and cool.

 Almond Cream
50 grams almond powder
50 grams powdered sugar
50 grams soft butter
5 grams flour
1 egg

1. Mix the butter and powdered sugar. Add the egg and mix. Add the almond powder and flour. Mix well.

25 grams butter
15 grams sugar
40 grams flour
1. Mix the softened butter with whisk then add the sugar and mix well. Then add the flour and finishing mixing.

Putting the pie together:

 1.       Roll out the dough to fit the pie pan. Spoon the almond cream on the bottom of the pie and then layer the peaches on top. Sprinkle the crumble on top. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 40 – 50 minutes.
This pie pan is 24 cm

Definitely need the vanilla ice cream for this pie!

Scrumptious Pear Praline Cake

Delicious Praline & Pear Cake

This is an easy and delicious cake to make in the fall when pears are in season. The cake includes a praline and the recipe below explains how to make it. However, in some speciality baking goods shops you may be able to find the praline ready made. If you can find it, buy it and skip this step.

Homemade Praline:
125 grams whole hazelnuts
125 grams whole almonds
160 grams caster sugar
20 grams water

1.    Place the water and sugar in a sauce pan and heat to about 118 ° C. Next add the hazelnuts and almonds and mix with the sugar. Gradually, they will be covered with a white film.

2. Next crush the almonds and hazelnuts in a food processor then put them in a blender with the water and mix until it becomes smooth like a paste. Add a little more water if needed while blending if needed.

Cake Ingredients:
180 grams praliné
130 grams butter
80 grams sugar
80 grams brown sugar
5 eggs
50 grams flour
2 pears (peeled and cut into bite size pieces)
To Make the Cake:

  1. Melt the butter and praline paste in the microwave or double boiler. Mix until the dough becomes smooth. Add sugar, brown sugar, then the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Lastly, sift in the flour.

  2. Place the and place the cut pears into the bottom of a buttered pan (about 22 cm diameter). Pour the batter over the pears. Bake for about 40 minutes.

3. Cool for about 15 minutes then turn the cake upside down on a platter for serving.

Fluffy Milk Rolls

Serve with beef, chicken or fish!
These rolls are soft and delicious and tasty for either dinner or breakfast with jam.

This bread has one unique step which is to make the starter. This starter is made on the stove top and only takes a few extra minutes.

  43 grams water
 43 grams whole milk
       14 grams bread flour

         1. For the starter, combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan, and whisk until no lumps remain. Place the saucepan over low heat, and cook the mixture, whisking constantly, until thick and the whisk leaves lines on the bottom of the pan, about 3 to 5 minutes.
        2. Transfer the starter to a small mixing bowl and let it cool to room temperature.
         298 grams bread flour
        7 grams nonfat dry milk
        30 grams sugar
        1 teaspoon salt
        1 tablespoon instant dry yeast
        113 grams milk (room temperature)
        1 large egg
        57 grams butter (softened
        1. To make the dough, combine the starter with the remaining dough ingredients (don't add the butter yet), then mix and by hand until a smooth dough forms. Place on a flat board and knead until soft and let sit for 10 minutes covered with plastic. Lastly, add knead in the butter.
         2. Shape the dough into a ball, and let it rest in a lightly greased covered bowl for 60 minutes.
         3. Gently deflate the dough, divide it into 40 gram pieces, and shape each piece into a ball.
         4. Place the rolls into a lightly greased round bun pan and brush lightly with an egg wash. Cover the pan, and let the rolls rest for 40 to 50 minutes.
          5. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C. Bake for 20 - 30 minutes, until golden brown on top.

Leave a small space between rolls to bake
          6. Remove the rolls from the oven. Allow them to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a rack to cool completely.
I bake the rolls on a flat silpat sheet
                   Yield: about 15 rolls.

Summer Pound Cake


This cake is a different twist to the traditional pound cake recipe. Be careful not to add too many bananas otherwise it will just taste like banana bread. 

50 grams sugar
1.       Heat the sugar in a saucepan until it turns to a caramel color then pour on top of a baking sheet and cool. When cooled put into food processer and chop to fine pieces.

55 grams almond powder
10 grams powdered sugar
70 grams egg white
45 grams sugar
1.       Whip the egg whites and add the sugar in portions. Whip until the peaks are standing.

1/2 banana (very ripe & mashed)
25 grams passion fruit puree
25 grams mango puree
10 grams sugar
5 grams rum

 1.       In a saucepan, heat the purees together with the banana and sugar and mix well and cook on medium heat for about 6 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the rum.
2.       Put into a bowl and cool.

90 grams butter (room temperature)
60 grams almond powder
40 grams coconut (fine)
100 grams powdered sugar
110 grams eggs
40 grams flour

1.       Sift together the almond powder, coconut and powdered sugar and flour
2.       Mix the softened butter and then add the dry ingredients from above in portions. Use a spatula to mix together then add the eggs in portions and mix with whisk.
3.       Lastly add the compote from the previous step.

Putting the cake together

 1.       Line the inside of pound cake pan with baking paper then lightly butter the paper and then dust with almond powder (I used an oval type pan for this recipe). Put the meringue inside the baking pan and use a palette knife to spread it evenly on the insides of the pan. The meringue should only be about 3/4 cm thick on the inside.
2.       Then fill the baking pan with the cake. Bake at 170 degrees Celsius for about 50 minutes.
Cool until before removing from the pan. The cake can be removed much easier with the baking paper.

Tropical Pineapple Coconut Mousse Cake

Delicious Pineapple Mousse Cake
Mousse cakes can be difficult in the summer since you need to keep them cool or else all of the delicious mousse turns to liquid.

One trick is to add just a few grams more gelatin to the recipet during the summers just to help cope with the heat.

Late July and August are the hottest months in Tokyo and I don't usually do much baking since there is a  competition between the oven and air conditioner. I made this cake in June and just now getting to post the recipe. Enjoy!

Dacquoise Cake
Pipe the cake in a circle for baking
120 grams powdered sugar
50 grams coconut flakes (fine)
 45 grams almond powder
40 grams flour
150 grams egg white
50 grams sugar

 1.      Sift together the powdered sugar, coconut flake, almond powder and flour.
2.     Whip the egg whites with a hand mixer and add the sugar in portions. Then add the dry ingredients from above and mix with a spatula.
3. Put into a pastry bag and pipe 2 circles on a baking pan. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 15 – 20 minutes

Pineapple Mousse
250 grams pineapple puree
250 grams milk
5 egg yolks
50 grams sugar
30 grams custard powder
15 grams butter (room temperature)
15 grams gelatin
200 grams fresh cream
30 grams toasted coconut flakes (fine)
100 grams fresh pineapple
 1.       Put the milk into a saucepan and heat lightly.  In another pan, heat the pineapple puree until just boiling. Mix the egg yolks, sugar and custard powder. Then add the milk to the egg yolk and then add back to the saucepan and heat lightly until slightly thickened then add the pineapple puree and heat until everything is thickened (like making anglais). Turn off the heat and add the gelatin and mix well. Pour into another bowl to cool until it lightly thickens like pudding.
2. Whip the fresh cream until soft peaks are formed and add in portions to the puree.
Putting the cake together:
1.       Put a 15 cm ring on a cake plate. Cut one piece of cake to fit the bottom of the ring and cut another one smaller.
2.       Lightly butter the inside of the ring and sprinkle toasted coconut over the butter.
3.       Put a piece of cake on the bottom of the ring. Pour the mousse on top of the cake to about 1/3 and then add the smaller second piece of cake. Add more mousse and a few pieces of fresh pineapple. Fill with mouse until the top and sprinkle some toasted coconut on top.
Inside of the ring is covered with coconut flakes
4.       Put the cake in the refrigerator to become firm before removing the ring. You can use a baker's torch to heat the outside of the ring to be able to remove it easily.
Decorate the cake as you like