Friday, June 3, 2016

Super-Duper Small Gummi Sushi! Yes, you can be a sushi chef too!

Dale and I were running errands today, and we stopped by a great shop near us called, Rocket Fizz.  It's a super-cool candy and soda shop, and they had these gummi kits from Japan.  You made your own gummies and then assembled them to look like different foods.  

Of course I had to get the sushi kit.  I love novel and quirky things like this.  It's very detailed oriented, looks nearly really, and it's miniature!  My favorite criteria!

It's called "Poppin' Cookin' Sushi Kit" and it was really fun to make.  After we downloaded the English instructions from HERE.  The instructions on the box are fine, if you are fluent in reading Japanese!  There are pictures, but in this case, they are not worth a thousand words.

Here is the box.  It's about the size of...well, a box of tampons.  That's really all I could think to compare it to.
This plastic pouch is inside, but don't just rush in and tear it open.  You need to cut where it indicates because you use this as your templates and "plates."
After you cut open the pouch, remove this tray and all of the mysterious packets and hardware.  That little spoon is cute and looks like a tiny spade.
I trimmed the edges of the pouch.
Here are the different color coded packets of mix, the mixing tray, and the squeezy thing, and spoon.
The first thing I did was mix up the rice.  I just used a small spoon to spoon in the minute amounts of water you're suppose to use.  This mixture reminded me of when I attempted to make my own rice cakes.  Now, that was an utter failure, but I won't bore you with the details on that.  Back to our clever sushi!
So, after I made the "Tamago" or "egg omelet," I moved to the "tuna" or "Maguro."  It was nice that you didn't have to work really quickly, but I didn't want to lollygag.  Can you believe that the word "lollygag" didn't show up as a misspelled word?  Ha!
Making the "salmon roe" or "salmon eggs" was THE COOLEST thing I've done all year.  I felt like one of those super-hip molecular chefs.  Just follow the instructions and you cannot go wrong!  The results are amazing, and a little gross, but they do look like fish eggs when you are finished!  This reminded me of that novelty soda in the early 90's called Orbit.  Anyone remember that?
There was a little black stick of candy that you roll out, while using the handy template on the pouch wrapper.  I improvised and was able to make another strip of "Nori" or "seaweed paper" for my tiny omelette sushi.
After all of my ingredients were prepared, it was time to make some sushi!  I took the rice and used the little template to pack together into little cakes for my omelette and tuna.
I also took a piece of the seaweed paper and made into a ring and pushed a little rice into it.  Then I spooned in some of the salmon eggs.  I was thrilled by how real they looked, all plump and shiny!
After I assembled the other pieces of sushi, I assembled the "tuna tower" by using some of the tuna and egg, and chopping them up roughly with my spade spoon.  Then I had to carefully top off some rice that I shaped into a disc.  Working in miniature is a lot harder than you would think!
These were so adorable and merited me pulling out my Nikon and snapping some macro pictures.  The tuna almost looks like the real thing!

I tried one piece and it was so fruity and jellied that it was a bit overwhelming for me.  Something tasted really strong of peach, and well, I loath peach!  Dale gobbled up the remaining "meal."  He even used some the candy mix for "soy sauce."  I kept searching for the wasabi and pickled ginger...but to no avail.

There were other kits, and I think we will get them when Dale's boys, John and Nicholas come out.  This will be a good project for them.  There were burgers, pizzas, and that was all I recalled seeing. 

If you are ever in the Colorado Springs area on the north end of Nevada, you need to check out this candy shop.  I was like a kid in a candy store!!

P.S.  I couldn't get myself to get a "breast milk" flavored lolly.  That was just too...ew, but of course that didn't stop me from taking a picture of it!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Good enough to eat, but not for me...

I love, love making things with fruit, but I won't eat them.  It's odd because I have an idea what would be a good fruit combination, but I don't like fruit.  Most fruit I've never even eaten.  Crazy, I know!

Even though fruit scares me, I find it can be very beautiful.  Nature is so strange, but yet so alluring!

Dale and I are going to our friend's, John and Val, for a BBQ today.  Of course I wanted to bring everything under the sun, but we limited ourselves to two things.  Dale will be making a cucumber salad, and I made this tart.  

German Fruit Tart

(serves about 12)

3 eggs
75 grams (3/8 cup) sugar
75 grams (1/3 cup) soft butter
1 packet German vanilla sugar
1 pinch salt
150 grams (1 1/4 cup) pastry flour (half all purpose flour and half cake flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder  

Generously grease and flour a German flan pan.  I recommend that you do this first and have it set aside.  Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. 

Beat eggs in a large bowl, using a hand mixer at highest setting; add sugars, salt, and soft butter, and continue beating at high speed until frothy.  Sift flour and baking powder together and add and beat until well blended.  Pour batter into the prepared pan and smooth.  This will be fairly thick, so be sure you carefully push the batter into the "moat" of the pan.  This will create the depression in the inverted finished cake.  Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until golden brown and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.  Let the cake cool completely on a wire rack before turning out and assembling.

You can find these specialized ingredients and pan online (Google German Flan Pan) or in German grocery stores, and sometimes the pans show up in thrift stores.  We just take it for granted that we've always had one.  Our pan was from Dale's German mother,  Jenny.  My Grandma Bahls also had one, and made wonderful cakes when we were growing up.  

Tart Filling:
Assorted fruit, sliced; anything that's in season is best, but you can also used canned (I used some canned Mandarin orange slices in the tart pictured)
1 packet Clear Glaze; follow the instructions on the package

Arrange your fruit in a pleasing pattern.  I love this part!  I'm so anal when it comes to getting it just right.

Spoon the hot glaze over top to set the fruit.  Let this cool before serving.

Take a pint of cold heavy cream and add two packets of "Whip It" stabilizer (if you have it), and packet of vanilla sugar.  If not, you can just whip the cream with a little sugar and a few drops of vanilla and serve over the cut slices of the tart.

Enjoy!  I'll just enjoy the pleasure of making something beautiful and delicious for others!