Japanese Pancakes

Well damn. The day is finally here. I finally got the pancakes right! Through much trial and error I got the right consistency and made the much anticipated Japanese Pancakes.

Based on my experience I will share a few things to look out for and some suggestions when making these beautiful pancakes.

  1. Use your favourite original pancake recipe as a base. I used my trusted pancake recipe and let me tell you it was amazing. I will try my carrot cake pancake recipe and see what happens…I am a bit doubtful that one will work.
  2. Sift your dry ingredients (including your sugar). This makes your pancakes much lighter and for these pancakes in particular you need them to be light.
  3. Use room temperature eggs and beat them until they are foamy before adding to your mixture. Using room temperature eggs will ensure you get maximum  volume.
  4. Generously butter your pan (if using non-stick) and the inside of your ring mold. If you don’t butter your ring molds properly then the pancakes will stick to the sides and you will have a lot of difficulty taking them out.
  5. Cook for 8-10 mins on one side and then about 5 on the other. Please don’t take out your pancake prematurely because they will not cook through properly. I made one with a beautiful golden crust on top and when I cut it open it was still very runny. You can insert a toothpick in the center to check.
  6. Use low heat. Since you will have your pancakes in your frying pan for an extended period ensure the heat is low so you don’t burn the bottom and the insides aren’t cooked through.
  7. Use tongs to flip the ring mold as it will be very hot.
  8. Cover your pan so that the top isn’t very runny before you flip. This is probably the most important one. If you don’t cover the top it stands a chance of being runny at the top and it is much harder to flip as it will spill…trust me I would know.

Those are my recommendations for making the pancakes. Now you might find them intimidating and you may fail on your first attempt but keep on trying!

 

Pancakes! Carrotcake Edition

Guys, guys….GUYSSSS! My life changed today. I saw the light!

I was never a huge pancake fan. They always tasted rubbery or oily. Guys…I just had bad experiences which I guess was a result of them being box pancake mixes. I had almost given up on pancakes until a few weeks ago when my friend gave me a recipe. It was incredible; there was no turning back. The pancakes were light and fluffy; not too sweet and the best part, they kept me full.

I have been addicted to pancakes since then and of course knowing me I had to mess around with the recipe. I went on my online foodie search and happened across a video for carrotcake pancakes. Listen, I absolutely love carrot cake, it is in my top 5 favorite cakes. Nothing really compares to a good carrot cake in my opinion so I knew I had to try this pancake.

The recipe was slightly different from my original recipe and honestly I wasn’t about to change this tried, tested and proven recipe. Thus, I simply incorporated the carrots and spices to my original solid pancake recipe and well let’s just say we have a winner. The pancakes were light, sweet and mouthwatering. I added a dollop of cream cheese frosting and topped it off with a drizzle of maple syrup. All I can say is, it’s an amazing occurrence when dessert meets breakfast!

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Cream Puffs

Hi guys!!! It has been a while. I got so caught up I am sorry! As my apology I will post this really simple and delicious recipe for a cream puff. You will love it!

Cream puffs are a type of choux pastry that originated in Europe. They are very simple to make and they are versatile. I am sure you can make one today as all the ingredients are more than likely in your pantry.

The thing I love the most about choux pastries in general is that you can fill them with anything from fruits to mousses. They are also very light and if done well people will think that you are some kind of world renowned French Chef.

Let’s Go!

I have put a slight twist on the traditional cream puff recipe by adding a nice sugary crust to go on top called a Craquelin. I got this idea from a youtuber that I follow “Home Cooking Adventures”. This gives the puffs a nice crunch and adds a bit of sweetness. So lets get started on the Craquelin. You will need to do this part first as it needs to go in the freezer for about 20/30 minutes.

Ingredients

Craquelin

  • 1/4 cup  butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour, I used all purpose
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

Choux Pastry (This makes about 9 palm size puffs)

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 50ml milk (you can subsitute for 50ml of water if you don’t have milk)
  • 50ml water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 whole eggs

Method

Craquelin

  1. In a bowl, mix together the butter, flour and sugar until combines. Divide the mixture in two and add cocoa powder to half.
  2. Put the dough(s) between two sheets of plastic wrap or parchment paper wax/parchment paper and roll the dough until it is around 3 mm thick. Guys each dough is to go between their own pair of wax paper.
  3. Freeze for about 20-30 mins.

Choux Pastry

  1. In a saucepan bring the milk, water, sugar, salt and butter to a boil.
  2. Remove from heat and add flour all at once. Mix in the flour until fully combined.
  3. Return saucepan to the heat and stir constantly until the dough comes away from the sides of the pan and forms a thick smooth ball (about 1-2 minutes). (You will notice that some of the dough will stick to the bottom of the pan)
  4. Transfer the dough to your electric mixer, or use a hand mixer, and beat on low speed to release the steam from the dough (about a minute). You can omit this step and simply set aside to cool slightly.
  5. Once the dough is lukewarm start adding the eggs one at a time. Mix well. Don’t be alarmed as the dough will separate and then come together.
  6. Continue to mix until you have a smooth thick paste that holds its shape.
  7. Fit a pastry bag with a large ½ inch (1cm) round tip and pipe the dough into 1 inch circles on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Give them enough space. You may also use a ziplock bag and cut a hole at one of the corners.
  8. Remove the craquelin dough from the freezer cut 1 inch squares using your knife. You could also used your piping tip/cookie cutter to cut 1 inch discs.
  9. Place the squares (or discs) on top of the choux, pressing slightly.
  10. Bake for 25-30 minutes until browned and puffed. Guys take a look in your oven at different intervals when they are baking its pretty cool to see them puff up.
  11. Once they are done baking allow them to cool slightly and you can fill them with pastry cream, whipped cream, mousse, fruits, ganache etc. I filled mine with vanilla and matcha mousse.

I will share the recipe for my mousse soon! It is super light and fluffy and a wonderful addition to the cream-puffs. Also guys if you didn’t make the craquelin you could dip the top of the creampuff in melted chocolate. That would also be divine! Like I said these are very versatile and what you can do with them ends with your imagination.

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Restaurant Review: Little Ochie Edition

There are certain places in Jamaica that, as a Jamaican, you must visit to claim your citizenship. Little Ochie Seafood Restaurant is one such place. If you haven’t visited Little Ochie and you say you are Jamaican, I have bad news for you! Just Kidding!

Little Ochie, located at Alligator Pond (the border of St. Elizabeth and Manchester) is one of the most popular seafood restaurants in Jamaica and for good reason. Not only do they have incredible dishes, but they also have local gift shops and some of the friendliest and warmest people you will ever come in contact with. I have been to Little Ochie a few times in the past and all my experiences were wonderful. Therefore, I decided to revisit because there was no way I could be taking a Foodie Journey without stopping by.

Walking in:

The first thing you notice when you walk in is a huge sign that welcomes you. After that long journey LONG journey to the South Coast this sign immediately brings relief.  If you are driving from Kingston or Montego Bay please take a light snack and some water because it is quite a journey.

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When you have arrived you can either go straight to place your order or visit this small but tasteful local souvenir shop. I took a picture of the shop owner as she pleasantly greeted me and was very happy to smile for the camera. You can buy a variety of expertly made jewelry and other goodies that are intricately designed and will last for years to come. When I say years, trust me I mean it.

Ordering Time:

Now I am sure you are excited to know what I ordered. Oh my Gosh was I dying to place my order! I heard raving reviews about the Jerk Fish and I sampled a tiny piece about a week ago and almost went into cardiac arrest with the flavor! It was mouthwatering. So of course that was going to be my order. I was overjoyed and went to the fridge to look down at all the colourful fishes (all fishes are freshly caught and placed in a huge fridge to the side when you enter the ordering location). I saw a really big one and because of the greedy person I am, that is the one I chose. I gave my fish to the waiter told him I wanted it jerked and went to pay at the cashier. Once you are done paying you are free to sit in one of the thatch roof houses outside on the beach.

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The Fish

There are a lot of things that make people happy in the world, one of which is seeing your waiter taking your food to you. I was already salivating, I had high expectations.

My fish arrived in all of its glory, my eyes watered, I cricked my neck, I licked my lips…I was ready to dig in…AND THEN the waiter informed me of some tragic news. He told me that my fish was tough and the chef had a hard time trying to prepare it. He promised that the chef would prepare another and take it to me.

Guys yu eva just wa mash up a place yet? you eva just wa fling whe a boy? I died a little on the inside and told the waiter I understood and it was fine. I looked on my plate and let me tell you, when I saw that fish and the crispy, warm festivals I couldn’t care less if the fish was tough. That underwater swimming creature was going to find a new home today. Who in their right mind would not at least TASTE this:

I didn’t care to wait on my other fish and dived in. It was not as bad as I had expected. The skin was rubbery, however, the flesh was soft. The flavors did not penetrate the skin much so the flesh was not as amazing as I knew it could be. I wasn’t alone and thankfully my counterpart ordered Steamed fish. Good Lord it was succulent and buttery and completely melted in my mouth. I feasted on that for the remainder of the night while munching on the crisp, golden brown festivals that were fried to perfection. I was in another world when the waiter came back with my Jerk Fish on the house! Now this is what I call customer service. I was very full at this moment but after he handed the fish to me and I felt how hot it was I was not going to let this full belly hold me back!

I took a bite and the Angels in heaven descended down on my palate. I could hear the chorus of flavors singing on my tongue. This. THIS is what I came for. Guys if you haven’t tried it before I implore you to try it now, tomorrow or even this weekend. Try that Jerk Fish from Little Ochie and pick a Parrot Fish or Snapper when you do. Don’t be like greedy old me. I need you to experience it in all its glory and I believe those two fish types are the best for this dish. Also make sure if you order steamed fish you tell the chef to steam the bammy with it. You will thank me later!