chocolate dipped black sesame fortune cookies

Chocolate Dipped Black Sesame Fortune Cookies | A Brown Table

Chinese fortune cookies though not originally Chinese in origin, are a mainstay of Chinese cuisine here in the West. But as this article in the NY Times points out, they might be more Japanese than Chinese. History and origins aside, these cookies are one of my favorite things to look forward to after dinner at Chinese restaurants and in San Francisco's Chinatown you might even get these cookies with a scoop of matcha ice cream. 

Though they are made from a simple tuile batter they are a little time consuming to prepare and require a little bit of practice. Luckily you can stretch the batter and with every circle baked, you will get better. The trick is to spread the batter out in a very thin circle and move superfast as soon as they start to cool. 

Black sesame not only gives the cookie a pretty texture when laminated into the batter but the nutty sweet taste pairs deliciously well with the dark chocolate. You can choose to put a fortune in the cookie or not, that I leave up to you to decide. Coincidentally, I didn't realize how troublesome it is to come up with fortunes to write, filling in winning lottery numbers might be easier!

Chocolate Dipped Black Sesame Fortune Cookies | A Brown Table
Chocolate Dipped Black Sesame Fortune Cookies | A Brown TableChocolate Dipped Black Sesame Fortune Cookies | A Brown Table
Chocolate Dipped Black Sesame Fortune Cookies | A Brown TableChocolate Dipped Black Sesame Fortune Cookies | A Brown Table

Here are some of my kitchen tips when preparing these fortune cookies;

  • Have everything ready before you start to bake. Keep the tools out on your worktable as these cookies harden as soon as they are taken out from the oven,
  • Spread the cookie batter as thin as possible, this will ensure a thin and crispy cookie. 
  • Some people find the fragrance of almond extract a little intense, you can substitute vanilla in for the same amount. 
  • I've given an approximate number for the cookies as you might end up losing some cookies while you make them. They might be too thin or too thick to fold. The crispier they are, the more delicate they will be, so treat them carefully.
  • Work with only one or two cookies at a time as speed is important to shaping the cookies. Wait too long and they will harden before you shape them. And please be careful not to burn you fingers as the cookies are hot. 
  • Also, I tried both parchment paper and Silpat baking mats while testing this recipe. Silpat gave the overall best results in terms of color, texture and shape. 
Chocolate Dipped Black Sesame Fortune Cookies | A Brown Table

chocolate dipped black sesame fortune cookies

yields: around 24-30 cookies

ingredients 

2 large egg whites, at room temperature

1/2 cup (2 ounces) confectioner's sugar

1/2 cup minus 1 tablespoon (2 ounces) all purpose flour

1 teaspoon black sesame seeds

2 tablespoons heavy cream

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature

1 teaspoon almond extract

3 tablespoons water, at room temperature

fortunes written on strips of paper that are around 5 inches long and 1 cm wide (optional)

1/2 cup dark chocolate, melted (I used 60% cacao but milk chocolate and white chocolate would be perfect here)

1. Place the egg whites in a medium bowl and whisk with a handheld electric beater on medium-high speed until slightly frothy.

2. Add the rest of the ingredients except the chocolate to the egg whites and whisk on medium-high speed until the mixture is smooth. There should be no lumps in the batter. Wrap the bowl with clingfilm and refrigerate for 2 hours to chill. 

3. Place a wire rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350F.  Get a clean glass or cup and a large muffin tin and keep it on your work space ready to shape the cookies. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or with a nonstick Silpat baking mat. If using parchment paper, draw two 3 inch circles about 2 inches apart from each other. If you're using Silpat, then approximate the diameter of the circle to 3 inches. Stir the chilled batter and take 1 teaspoon of the chilled batter and using a spoon spread it out into a very thin layer on the parchment paper. If using the Silpat sheet spread the batter out into a very thin circle that is approximately 3 inches in diameter. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake the cookies for 5 minutes or until the edges turn a little golden brown. Remove the sheet from the oven.

4. Now work as quickly as possible as the cookies will harden as soon as they start to cool. (Be careful not to burn you fingers as the cookies will be very hot). Place a fortune paper strip across the center of one cookie and using an offset spatula lift the cookie a little on fold it over itself to form a half moon shape. Then take the cookie off the sheet and bend the folded edge of the cookie over the edge of a glass/mug. Then quickly place the cookie in the well of a muffin tin and allow it to set. As the cookie cools, it will harden and take on its characteristic curved shape. Prepare the second cookie in the same manner. 

5. Using a scissors, trim the excess length of paper that hangs from the ends of the shaped cookie. Dip one half of the cookie in the melted chocolate (length or width wise) and keep it on a cool surface such as marble or parchment paper to cool. Once the chocolate sets, store each cookie carefully in an airtight container.    

thai and vietnamese inspired coffee granita

thai vietnamese coffee granita #food #glutenfree #dessert #asian #vegan #vegetarian #coffee #granita
thai vietnamese coffee granita #food #glutenfree #dessert #asian #vegan #vegetarian #coffee #granita

Labor day might officially mark the end of summer but I really don't want to give two hoots about the start of fall yet. It always seems too soon, especially when you love one season more than the others. It also really doesn't help that some of the television channels are running Christmas movies right now (what happened to Halloween and Thanksgiving?). Thankfully, the warm weather and I are on the same wavelength with neither of us wanting summer to leave, I know summer will put up a decent fight. So until autumn boots summer away, I'm going to happily chill out with these coffee granitas and think about all things . 

thai vietnamese coffee granita #food #glutenfree #dessert #asian #vegan #vegetarian #coffee #granita

I love Thai and Vietnamese iced coffees, each of them unique in their own special ways, one flavored with spices such as green cardamom while the other, sweetened with condensed milk. You can't go wrong with either of them, at least that's what I think. Since, it's hard for me to pick a favorite, I decided that the best thing to do, would be to create a granita, that represented the personalities of both of drinks. Double the inspiration and double the dose of flavor as the name suggests! 

Since this is a double granita, let's start with the first one, the coffee! I recommend using a chicory type of coffee but if you have a personal favorite, feel free to try that out in this recipe. The coffee granita is mixed with a sugar syrup infused with freshly crushed green cardamom pods that makes this simply amazing! The second granita is a little different, instead of using condensed milk, I decided to use sweetened coconut milk that is infused with vanilla, I find that it freezes well and tastes great. Condensed milk would give a more ice cream like texture that I didn't want for this dessert.

This coffee granita is going to be my buddy this weekend while I enjoy the long holiday. Have a great weekend!

thai vietnamese coffee granita #food #glutenfree #dessert #asian #vegan #vegetarian #coffee #granita
thai vietnamese coffee granita #food #glutenfree #dessert #asian #vegan #vegetarian #coffee #granita

thai & vietnamese inspired coffee granita

yields: 6 servings

ingredients

6 green cardamom pods

1 cup water

2 cups brown sugar 

3 cups of double strength (brewed) coffee (preferably chicory, I used Community Coffee but Cafe du Monde is good too)

4 cups full-fat coconut milk

1  vanilla bean (or 1 tablespoon madagascar bourbon vanilla extract)

1. Using a mortar and pestle, crush the green cardamom pods to release the seeds and crush the seeds. Add the crushed cardamom (the green shell with the crushed seeds) to a medium sized saucepan with the water and 1 cup of the sugar. Bring the contents to a boil on a medium-high flame. Once it begins to boil, remove and stir in the coffee. Remove from stove and keep aside. Allow to cool to room temperature.

2. Add the remaining 1 cup of sugar to the coconut milk in a medium-sized saucepan. Using a sharp knife slit the vanilla bean across its length. Scrape the seeds and add the seeds and the bean to the coconut milk. Heat the mixture over a medium-low flame for about 10 minutes until the sugar is completely dissolved and the milk just begins to boil. Remove from stove and allow to cool temperature. (If you're using vanilla extract, then add the extract after the liquid is removed from the stove).

3. Once the coffee mixture is completely cooled, stir and pass it through a tea strainer to get rid of the cardamom. Pour the liquid into a flat pan that is freezer-proof (I used a cake pan). Cover with cling film and place in the freezer. 

4. If you used a vanilla bean in the coconut milk, remove the bean and discard. Pour the rest of the coconut  is freezer-proof (I used a cake pan). Cover with cling film and place in the freezer. 

5. After 1  1/2- 2 hours remove both pans from the freezer. The mixture in each pan should resemble a frozen slush. Crush any large frozen chunks that might have formed and stir the contents. Cover each pan with cling film and place back in the freezer. After 30 minutes crush any large chunks and stir the contents, cover and place back in the freezer. After 1 1/2 to 2 hours, the mixture in each pan will be frozen, remove the cling film and scrape the surface with a fork to create flaky crystals. At this point the granita is ready to serve. Serve in chilled glasses filled generously with half of the coffee granita and half of the coconut milk granita. 

lychee rose boba with pistachio jelly {a blogger collaboration}

dual work filtration

I had met Phi of the Princess Tofu blog online, (honestly, that's how many of my food blogger relationships begin). I lived in D.C. at the time and she, in San Francisco. We quickly became virtual friends and upon finding out that I would be moving to the S.F. Bay Area, I was super excited to finally have the opportunity to meet her. I have to say, Phi has been the sweetest host, we've geeked out over all things related to food blogging while eating pastries at some of her favorite bakeries in the city. She's taught me so much about fun things about the city that only a seasoned local would know! 

Phi had spoken of her friend, Alanna of The Bojon Gourmet before and already being a huge fan of Alanna's work, you can just imagine my excitement when they asked me to join them for a little session of pistachio milk jelly and rose boba making. 

pistachio milk making.gif

I took a bag of fresh lychees and some samplings of tea over to Alanna's house (Alanna makes the best drinks and snacks and Phi had these cute and tasty Mickey Mouse waffles) where I got to watch and learn from both of these extremely talented and wonderful people. It was so much fun working with them because for one, you get to watch each person in action and observe their different styles and work aesthetic and two, because action shots are much easier when more than one person is involved (I don't have to balance myself shooting and moving the subjects simultaneously with the risk of dropping or breaking something). 

pistachio nut milk

The process began with the grinding of some presoaked pistachio nuts in a blender to produce the nut milk which Phi then filtered through the nut sac ( The word "nut sac" sounds so inappropriately funny and yeah we were all pretty red, every time one of us mentioned it). Once that was complete, Phi prepared the pistachio milk jelly by adding agar agar which set pretty fast. Unfortunately by this time, I had to leave and meet M who was coming to pick me up for dinner but the girls went on and made a second batch because the felt the jelly was a bit too soft to use. 

sugar syrup

Unfortunately, I missed tasting Phi and Alanna's final concoction which looks amazing but I had such a blast spending the day with them. Please do go ahead and check out both their websites to see what we were up to that day.  The recipe is here at Phi's site and Alanna has more photographs on the drink preparation that I wasn't there for. 

pistachio milk jelly