Homemade desserts keep Christmas calm and lightThose who have been to Myeong-dong, Gangnam or elsewhere downtown on Christmas Day know it is almost impossible to walk on sidewalks clogged with crows and and street vendors.
What about dining at restaurants? If you fail to make reservations, it is common to wait as long as two hours before being seated.
If you are young and energetic enough to embrace such Christmas chaos as part of the holiday fun, go out and enjoy it. But there are plenty of others who simply don’t want to deal with chaos on Christmas.
After all, staying home and enjoying homemade foods is a surefire way to ensure your holiday peaceful.
With the following recipes, Christmas at home will be pretty easy, as well. Most call for ready-made mixes and the ingredients are easily accessible from big-box chains in your neighborhood. All except the custard cream and choux mixes that are used in eclair.
The recipes are from Lemon Tree, a monthly magazine of J Contentree, an affiliate of JoongAng Ilbo and Korea JoongAng Daily.
By Lee Kyung-eun [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Strawberry jam layer cake
You can either garnish the cake with halved strawberries and whipped cream or whipped cream alone.
Ingredients: Two pouches of pound cake mix (500 grams or 17.6 ounces), four eggs, 80 grams of milk, 140 grams of butter, nine tablespoons of strawberry jam, one cup of whipped cream, one cup of fresh cream, four tablespoons of sugar
1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius (347 degrees Fahrenheit).
2. Whisk together eggs and milk. Melt butter in a double boiler.
3. Add two pouches of cake mix and the melted butter.
4. Pour the batter into a cake pan 18 centimeters (7.1 inches) in diameter.
5. Bake at 175 degrees Celsius for 50 minutes.
6. Pour fresh cream and whipped cream into a bowl and beat with a mixer at high speed for 10 minutes. Then beat at low speed for two minutes.
7. When the cake is done, let cool completely on wire racks and slice into three layers.
8. Place a layer of cake on a plate and spread strawberry jam and the beaten cream. Do the same with another layer of cake.
9. Top with cream and garnish with strawberries.
This French pastry is long choux pastry filled with cream and topped with icing.
Ingredients: 200 grams (7.1 ounces) of choux mix, 300 grams of water, 175 grams of custard cream mix, 600 grams of milk, two tablespoons each of caramel syrup and Nutella (chocolate hazelnut spread), one tablespoon black sesame powder, 100 grams of white chocolate
(Choux and custard cream mixes are available from almost all online baking shops. One of them is www.ehomebaking.co.kr)
1. Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celsius (428 degrees Fahrenheit).
2. Mix water and choux mix and beat with a mixer at high speed for 10 minutes.
3. Spread foil on the oven pan. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a round tip one centimeter (0.4 inches) in diameter. Squeeze the filling onto the baking sheet in six-centimeter lengths.
4. Spray water into the oven with a spray gun and bake 20 to 25 minutes.
5. Pour custard cream mix and water into a bowl and mix thoroughly for 10 minutes.
6. Cool choux on wire rack and make a hole in the bottom center of each eclair with a pointy object.
7. Fill choux with custard cream.
8. Melt white chocolate in a double boiler.
9. Add caramel syrup, Nutella and black sesame powder to three portions of melted white chocolate.
10. Spread the three different frostings on the eclairs and refrigerate.
Cream mochi is a Japanese dessert. The rice cake comes with assorted fillings from adzuki beans to cranberries and oranges, accompanied with fresh cream. It is a dessert best served cold.
Ingredients: One pouch of injeolmi (rice cake powdered with dried soybeans) mix (200 grams) and another pouch of mugwort injeolmi mix (200 grams), one cup of white anko, four tablespoons of chestnut spread, one tablespoon of blueberry powder, one tablespoon of sugar, one teaspoon of green tea powder, 260 millimeters (1.1 cups) of water, 1/3 cup fresh cream, a little bit of cooking oil and dusting powder (made with six tablespoons of starch, two tablespoons of blueberry powder and one tablespoon of green tea powder)
1. Pour each rice cake powder into two different bowls with 130 millimeters (0.55 cups) of water each. Microwave on high for three minutes.
2. Blend four tablespoons of chestnut spread with 1/4 cup of white anko.
3. Halve the remaining white anko and mix them with blueberry powder and green tea powder, respectively.
4. Cut each rice cake batter into 16 even, small portions. Knead each into a small disc. Spoon two teaspoons of fillings in the middle. Fold the edge to seal the mochi.
5. Freeze 30 minutes.
6. Add sugar to fresh cream and whip with a hand mixer until it becomes thick and solid.
7. Fill a pastry bag with the whipped cream and insert into the bottom of each mochi.
8. Coat the mochi with dusting powder.
You will encounter people who carry baby pink paper bags at Lotte Department Store, located in Sogong-dong, central Seoul, every two minutes these days. Around the time you might wonder what they are eating or carrying, you will spot a line forming in front of a small booth where there are snowball-like pastries on display. These schneeballen, which means snowball in German, are traditional pastry of Germany, and they are catching on with trendy eaters. Not only in Lotte Department Store, but a long line of people wait their turn to purchase the fist-sized pastry that costs 3,500 won ($3.26). If you are unlucky, they will be sold out even before the stores close.
Ingredients: One pouch of naan mix (196 grams or 6.91 ounces), 1/2 cup of water, one cup of cocoa powder, one tablespoon of matcha green tea powder, two tablespoons of strawberry powder and a little bit of cooking oil.
1. Mix naan powder and water until the dough becomes glossy.
2. Cut the dough into four even portions and roll each into a square 10 centimeters (3.94 inches) wide, 20 centimeters long and about 0.2 centimeter thick. Cut the square dough into strips one centimeter wide.
3. Shape the strips into a ball.
4. Pour cooking oil into a pan and heat to 180 degrees Celsius (356 degrees Fahrenheit). Pan fry the ball-shaped dough until it turns brown. After frying, drain oil by laying the balls on wire racks.
5. Sprinkle with cocoa, matcha green tea and strawberry powder.