Sweet Tooth: Tian Jiu (Sweet Rice Wine)

Tian Jiu, otherwise known as fermented cooked rice, is a popular southeast Asian tradition, as it has many uses in addition to being a great-tasting rice pudding. Many people will eat it in the winter as a way to keep warm, and mothers who have just given birth will also eat it, as it’s said to be good for the body as it recuperates. (And apparently it’s good to use as a face mask!)

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Wanderlust: Guangzhou’s dim-sun, desserts & more (part four)

And finally, here’s the last post in the Guangzhou/Xiamen series (that, honestly, I should have posted a loooong time ago, but got caught up in some other things…) Anyways, on the rest of the post:

Dim sum is a style of Chinese cuisine prepared as small bite-sized portions of food served in small steamer baskets or on small plates and is popular particularly in Guangdong. Dim sum dishes are usually served with tea, and together form a full tea brunch, although nowadays it really doesn’t matter what time of the day you crave dim-sun; you’ll always be able to get some.

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Wanderlust: Guangzhou, the food city of China (part three)

I spent about a week in Guangzhou, China, last month (which you can read all about here and here). Guangzhou is the third largest city in China, but I daresay the food there is best in the nation. There’s a popular Chinese saying — 食在广州, which literally translates to eat in Guangzhou — that best testifies to the idea that the food scene in Guangzhou is spectacular.

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Sweet Tooth: Chinese Egg Tarts

Chinese egg tarts are popular treats found all over Chinatown, particularly in tea houses as a dim sum dish. Egg tarts are prominent in Guangzhou’s food scene, and scholars call it the “quintessential symbol of the fusion between Cantonese and Western cultures.” I grew up eating these, and distinctly remember always asking my mom to buy me some whenever we went to Chinatown. Now, we tend to make our own egg tarts, and because they’re actually quite simple to make, you should definitely try them out too!
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed and refrigerated
⅓ cup plus 1 tbsp (80g) white sugar
⅔ cup (150g) warm water
⅓ cup (75g) evaporated milk
2 large eggs & 1 egg yolk
½ tsp vanilla

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Completely dissolve the sugar in the warm water. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
  3. Roll out the pastry dough to 12 x 12 inches and cut out 9 circles using a 4 inch cookie cutter. Gently press onto tart tins and place on baking sheet.
  4. Whisk the eggs, egg yolk, evaporated milk and vanilla together. Stir in the cooled down sugar solution. Strain the egg mixture into a large measuring cup through a fine sieve. Carefully pour into tart shells, filling to just below the rim.
  5. Bake at 400F for 10-15 minutes until the edges are lightly brown. Please keep an eye on the tarts as they are baking. As soon as the custard starts to puff, open the oven door 2-3 inches to prevent the filling from puffing up too much and collapsing when cooled.
  6. Once the edges start to brown, reduce the heat to 350F and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the custard is done. Test the filling by inserting a toothpick into the custard; if it can stand on its own, it’s done.

(Recipe adapted from Little Sweet Baker.)

Sweet Tooth: Cake Mix Cookie Bars

I found this lil’ jewel of a website, Yummly; it’s basically Pinterest, except ONLY for food. Anyways, last night I realized I had a bunch of cake mix just lying around in my pantry (not entirely sure why?). But I wanted to do something more creative than, you know, cake, so I did a bit of research (and thus stumbled upon Yummly.) So here’s my attempt at Cake Mix Cookie Bars (which, my mom gave her stamp of approval, and if you know my mom, that’s really something…) 😛

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Sweet Tooth: Cookie Butter Brown Sugar Cookies

I am definitely on a baking rampage this weekend: after buying some on-sale cookie butter, I figured I’d try one of the many recipes that involved cookie butter. The easiest? These cookie butter brown sugar cookies! Note: My recipe was adapted from Ms. Averie Sunshine, but since I’ll be taking these to school, I made twice the amount of cookies. So if you definitely don’t want to end up with 45 cookies, divide my numbers by 2. 🙂

2 large eggs
2 cups of Cookie Butter
3/2 cups of light brown sugar
3 Tbsp vanilla extract 
2 cup all-purpose flour 
4 tsp cornstarch
3 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt

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Sweet Tooth: Cookies ‘N Cream Ice Cream Bread

Alright, so my obsession with Tasty videos continue. This one, though, seemed simple enough to make in my free time, and only required two ingredients! (Though I did add some additional goodies to create my own twist.)

I never thought ice cream and bread would ever go together in a same sentence, much less be a part of the same food item, but it turned out to be some really delicious, not-too-sweet soft bread with a hint of cookies.

To make the bread:
* 1 pint (2 cups) melted ice cream (any ice-cream flavor will do, but do note that low-fat doesn't taste as good!) 
* 1¼ cup self-rising flour

I added (for fun, and for more yumminess):
* 2 tbsp cookie butter
* 12 dark chocolate Hershey Kisses

1. Preheat your oven to 350˚F.
2. Combine melted ice cream and self rising flour. Mix well, and add additional ingredients to the batter.
3. Grease a loaf pan and spread evenly (I used a round cake pan, so I had to thin out my batter, which then meant I had to lower the baking time to 23 minutes.)
6. Bake for 35-40 minutes if you’re using the regular loaf pan.
7. Allow to cool fully before cutting.

Recipe adapted from Tasty.