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Jasmine Tea Cupcakes

jasmine cupcakes

Jasmine tea cupcakes with jasmine whipped cream-cream cheese frosting! They aren’t as jasmine-y as I had wanted them to be, and the cake was a little dense, ( may have over-mixed the batter) but delicious nonetheless.

Made these by finding a simple white/vanilla cake recipe, and steeping the milk with 2 jasmine tea bags and cooling it before mixing in the batter. The frosting was made by steeping heavy whipping cream with a jasmine tea bag, cooling it, and whipping it up with some sugar. You then fold the jasmine whipped cream into a cream cheese frosting (1/2 stick butter, 8 oz cream cheese, about 1/4-1/2 cup sugar).

Will definitely be trying these out again, hopefully with a better/lighter cake consistency!

– CP

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Cinnamon Sugar Wonton Wrappers with Earl Grey Whipped Cream

Every week for a couple of months now, I open up my little town home for friends to come over and study and enjoy some hot tea along with fresh home-made baked goodies–I call it “Kiosco Kafe” (after the street we live on). This weekly gathering is also an excuse for me to experiment with new recipes and have taste-testing guinea pigs who will eat my food, rather than me having to be left with mounds of cookies or an entire cheesecake. That would be quite dangerous… Anyway, I’ve been pushing myself to try a new recipe/concoction every week, and I’m proud to say that 90% of them are rather successful and tasty. Unfortunately, I either forget to take a picture or they’re too un-photogenic to be foodcult-worthy. But alas, today I concocted a unique creation that was not only tasty, but was somewhat photo-worthy, so here it is!

wonton wrappers + earl grey whipped cream

I have been wanting to experiment with wonton wrappers for some time now. I just happened to have a pack left over from when I made my mom’s delicious pork wontons last week (I’ve been meaning to do a post on these for so long but it just hasn’t happened…but it will!). After gathering some inspiration from foodgawker (yes, I’m an avid gawker), I decided to start my random experimentation.

I tried going the dessert-wonton route, baking the wrappers with some cookie butter inside and folding them in a triangle shape. That was…just okay. Then I tried filling them with chocolate chips. That was also..just okay. The wrappers kept on coming out too chewy or not baked evenly. I found, that out of coating the wrappers with cooking spray, olive oil, and melted butter, melted butter won out by far. It helped the wrappers get a nice buttery flavor while becoming evenly crispy; it also didn’t give the wrappers the ugly bumps that you get if you use just oil. So there you go, the key is to spread melted butter all over both sides of the wrapper. If you don’t spread it all over, the flour on the wrappers stay dry and you end up having to tap the flour off after they’re done baking. Doesn’t taste too pleasant either!

Now, onto the filling…I had originally intended on making coffee-whipped cream, as I had done that before by boiling coffee beans with heavy whipping cream, but all I had was ground coffee. I was actually intending on emptying out a teabag and filling it with ground coffee, somehow close it back up, and then use the coffee-tea-bag to boil in the heavy whipping cream…but that just seemed a little flawed and way too much trouble.

Then, as I was looking through our tea cabinet, and *lightbulb*!

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Earl grey whipped cream. And yes, it was quite delicious. It tastes kind of like a super creamy “london fog” 🙂

Here’s my recipe along with some useful tips when using wonton wrappers!

Cinnamon Sugar Wonton Wrappers with Earl Grey Whipped Cream

1 Pack of wonton wrappers (this recipe yields about 15-20)
1/2 stick of butter, melted
3 tbsp sugar
2-3 tsp cinnamon

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 bag earl grey tea
1/2 tsp vanilla
2-3 tbsp sugar (or to taste)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Using pastry brush, brush wonton wrappers front and back with melted butter. Make sure to cover them completely, not leaving any of the flour dry.

2. Place wrappers on the diagonal on the edge of a casserole dish, or a baking dish with high sides. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until slightly golden brown. Take out and let cool completely. **If you eat them warm, they will be slightly chewy and doughy, so if you want them crispy, it’s important to let them cool.

3. Mix 3 tbsp sugar with 2-3 tsp of cinnamon. Brush outside of shells/wrappers with melted butter (again, I know) and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Earl Grey Whipped Cream

1. Heat heavy whipping cream with tea bag, frequently stirring bottom of pot, until boils. Then turn down heat to med-low for about 5 minutes, still stirring. Add vanilla. Let cool in fridge for at least an hour.

2. After chilled, add 2-3 tbsp sugar (or to personal preference) and whip with electric mixer with whisk attachment until you get stiff peaks (I only whipped mine to soft peaks, but perhaps I wasn’t patient enough, or the boiling of the whipping cream had something to do with it. Maybe you’ll have better luck!)

3. Place whipped cream in pastry bag with whatever tip you’d like (I used the large closed star tip) and carefully fill wonton shells. Now, they’re ready to serve!

Hope ya’ll enjoy these as much as I did. Perhaps I’ll use the earl grey whipped cream for an earl grey cake or something next time. And the possibilities are endless now with so many different teas. Jasmine tea whipped cream sounds pretty good too doesn’t it? I’ll try to keep you updated with my future tea-whipped cream experimentations 🙂

– CP

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coconut french toast

Coconut french toast @ Isabel’s Cantina in PB. So yums.

– CP

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Isabel’s Cantina

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shakshuka

Home-made shakshuka in remembrance of our delicious meal at Tasty N Sons

– CP

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Shakshuka

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AMSTERDAM FOR LUNCH : BROODJE BERT

One of the tricks that I have learned as a frugal, traveling college student is that long painful layovers can sometimes be redemptive. On my way from Cairo to Taipei, I had a 12 hour stop in Amsterdam from 8 am to 8 pm. So, rather than treating my first step into Europe as the pitiful twelve hour layover that it was, I decided instead that it would become for me a mini-packaged vacation that KLM airlines was granting in compensation for the fact that their flight left Cairo at 4 am. What was pretty incredible about the whole adventure was that my friends who were studying abroad in Florence happened to be in Amsterdam that same day! It was awesome. I got to meet up with them for lunch (I’m not sure what meal it was, they didn’t stop eating from the moment that I met up with them until we left) at Broodje Bert.

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The place was a corner sandwich shop, tiny and packed like you wouldn’t believe. Cozy with that mom and pop shop feel with a lot of regulars who knew exactly what they wanted. The shop is known for its great sandwiches at a reasonable price.

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broodge

My friend and I shared the Mozzarella and Tomato Pesto sandwich because we had both just eaten a little while ago. The sandwich was warm, fresh out of the oven. The combination of the melted mozzarella and pesto blended together nicely with their subtle flavors. It was one of those things that just made you happy on a gloomy day, kind of like a hug… but delicious.

However, the uncontested favorite and what Broodje Bert is famous for was the Homemade Broodje Bert Burger. I didn’t have a chance to get a photo because when I looked over, the burger was already half gone. I looked around and it seemed that everyone came in and only ordered that one thing. It was also in french bread, with what can be best described as falafel sized meat patties inside. While I was pretty satisfied with my mozzarella pesto, I am definitely ordering that burger next time. Apparently, it was the bomb.

Don’t worry, I have another layover on the way back.

– PT

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