Archive for the ‘sweets’ Category

japanese wagashi (sweets)


These Japanese sweets are from our favorite pastry shop in New York. Delicious and unique, they are a real delicacy. Once you taste them, you will always want to stop and pick some up on your next visit. The picture above is of a Green Tea Chocolate Mochi, so soft like on a cloud.

The pastry shop is Minamoto Kitchoan. Every creation is a work of art.  They bring the pastries in from Japan, so you’re getting something really authentic. Perfect gifts. The only problem is that you will not want to give these away.


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Everything about Minamoto is special. From the moment you walk in you feel like you’re in a Japanese pastry shop. The taste of the pastries is unlike anything I’ve ever had, creamy, silky, not too sweet. And the packaging and presentation is second to none. Minamoto is perfection.

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sponge cake

You can always count on this recipe to come out very close to perfect. It’s all about the eggs. Make sure they are fresh and at room temperature.

Our family has been making this cake forever. For birthdays, anniversaries, graduations…etc.  Layered with either homemade custard, ice cream, whip cream, fruits … etc. Starting with a good basic sponge cake is key to making not only a good looking cake but also a delicious one.

For this recipe I usually use a 12″ round pan, but you can use any shape you like.



cake pan 12″ diameter

10 eggs

1 1/2 cups sugar

pinch of salt

1/2 cup of olive oil (veg. oil or if you prefer butter)

2 tsp of limoncello liquor (any liquor or vanilla)

rind of one lemon

2 cups of all purpose flour

1 tbsp baking powder

pinch of nutmeg


Preheat oven 350*

Line baking pan with parchment paper

Prepare dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well with a fork

Mix eggs with sugar on high speed until eggs are light and fluffy

Lower mixer to middle speed

Slowly add oil, vanilla and lemon rind

Gradually add flour mixture and mix just until blended

Do not over mix

Pour batter into pan and bake for 40-50 minutes 

Test with toothpick, if not done bake longer


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pastry cream

pastry cream thickened with slices of lemon

Fast and delicious this pastry cream can be used for all your custard needs. To vary the flavor, coffee or chocolate may be added.



4 egg yolks

4 tbsp sugar

3-4 tbsp flour

2 cups lukewarm milk

(optional) 1-2 tsp liquor

lemon peel of whole lemon

1 tbsp butter or margarine


Beat the egg yolks with sugar for about 15 minutes
Add  the flour and stir in the lukewarm milk a little at a time
In a saucepan cook the cream with the lemon peel and butter, stirring constantly until it thickens, without letting it boil
When cream is set, discard lemon peel and continue stirring for another few minutes
To use immediately, transfer to bowl and let cool to room temperature
Or store in refrigerator covered in plastic wrap. Good for up to 2 days 

cream ready for cooking


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lemon glazed cookies

There are so many recipes for lemon glazed cookies and I have tried quite a few different kinds. But these ones you see here are so moist and so lemony. They are perfect.

Our association met tonight to plan our yearly party in April. After our meeting the ladies always bring something yummy. Lidia brought a bottle of champagne to celebrate the 65th birthday of 2 ladies and Incoronata brought some amazing pizza. It was almost all gone before I had the chance to take a picture. I’m including it here and will definitely include a post at a later date when I can get Incoronata’s recipe and a full picture of her creation.

Vincenzina brought the lemon cookies you see above. Everything she bakes is amazing and so tasty. She gave me the recipe for these  and I will try baking them this week, but I’m not so sure they will turn out the same as hers. If they don’t, I will just have to visit her the next time she makes them and record step by step what she does.



3 eggs

4 oz sugar

4 oz oil

2 oz milk

2 tsp baking powder

grated lemon rind of 1 lemon

3 to 3 1/2 cups flour

lemon glaze

Juice of 1 lemon and rind

1 cup powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350*

Mix eggs, sugar, oil, milk and zest

Add baking powder and flour

Shape into ball

On a floured surface roll out the dough ball to a thickness of about 1/4 inch

Divide the dough into equal pieces and roll each piece into ropes that are 1/2 inch in diameter

Cut the ropes into pieces of  5 inches or longer if you want bigger cookies

Coil the rope around on itself and tuck the end underneath

Place the cookies on a baking sheet and  bake in center of oven for approximately 25 minutes until done.

When cookies have cooled down, coat each cookie with glaze and place on waxed paper

Let the cookies air dry for a couple of hours

To make lemon glaze

Combine powdered sugar and lemon juice, stirring well.


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time for zeppole

March is here and so are zeppole!

Montreal bakeries everywhere are scammering to fill our orders of these delicious little fried balls.

I won’t go into the history of the zeppole. Just google “zeppole di san giuseppe” or just “zeppole” and you’ll get all the information, recipes and places to buy them. Click on images to view the many different kinds of zeppole that are  being made in every bakery in Montreal as we speak or write or chat.

What I will do is post a few links to places where you can find the best zeppoles. Also I will post the recipes as I find them online.  If you have a favorite place where you buy your zeppole, let me know and I will add it to the list.

You really can’t eat too many of these, they’re really not good for you, but they really are delicious.

So I don’t bother trying to make them, instead, once in a while we’ll drop by our favorite pastry shop and pick up a few.

The first place on my list is “Patisserie San Marco” .

I dropped by San Marco yesterday and bought 12 zeppoles,  6 filled with custard and 6 with ricotta cream. The dough is filled fresh for every order. They really do melt in your mouth. If you just can’t wait to eat them until you get home, you can sit and relax and have one with a cappuccino! Enjoy!!


List of pastry shops where to buy the best zeppole

Patisserie San Marco



Zeppole by Lidia

Zeppole di San Giuseppe da Giallozafferano

Zeppole by Giada De Laurentiis


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