Tuesday 31 December 2013

My Favourite 13 of 2013

Happy New Year! May your 2014 be filled with health and happiness. I will be sharing my favourite 13 creations for 2013 in this post.

I found it really tough narrowing down my bentos to my favourite 13, I have way too many favourites, lol. I ended up choosing one from each month instead. I tried to choose those creations that I like but are less popular, hope you enjoy looking through them. Just click on the images below to link to the respective blog post.

Panda inari sushi bento

Bees in love bento for Valentine's Day.

Hen and Kiiroitori in bunny suit for Easter.

Girl painting a rainbow fruit plate for Earth Day.

Piggy sushi cake for LT's birthday.

Mashed potato cat catching fish in soup.

Sleeping Snoopy toast.

Penguins and Igloo lunch.

Astro boy bento

Bear pulling a pumpkin home in his wagon during Autumn.

Pumpkin and ghost sushi for Halloween.

Kiki from Hayao Mayazaki's Kiki's Delivery Service

Very easy piggy burger.

My bento friends from Bento Bloggers & Friends are also sharing their favourite 13 from 2013, click on the image above to check out their awesome creations. :)

Monday 30 December 2013

Totoro Bread Bun

I baked Totoro bread buns last week, managed to take step by step photos for the recipe, check them out at the end of this post. :)

These are the Totoro buns I made. :)

Aren't they cute? Ok, I'm bias, I love Totoro, lol. :)

I served them for our breakfast the following day.

Before I share the recipe, I want to share these super cute Totoro cream puffs we had in Japan.

The bakery that sells this is Shiro-Hige's Cream Puff Factory. The bakery is located in a cosy neighbourhood, in a lovely two-storey house. There is a cafe upstairs that serves pasta too.

The cream puffs are so cute, can't bear to eat them.

I love their signboard!

Back to my Totoro bread bun, recipe below. :)



Bread Dough:
150g bread flour
70ml warm water
15g sugar
15g egg
15g butter, at room temperature
3g yeast
3g salt

Cookie Dough:
50g plain flour
20g butter, at room temperature
15g sugar
10g egg

  1. Prepare cookie dough first, beat butter with sugar. Slowly add in egg and continue beating. Finally mix in the flour till a dough is formed. Cling wrap dough and leave in the fridge.
  2. Mix all ingredients for bread dough in a bowl. Knead until dough is soft and springy, this takes about 10 minutes. If you have a bread maker, you can just use the dough function for this step. 
  3. IMG_1925
  4. Cover the dough with cling wrap and keep in a warm place for it to rise. This takes around an hour and the dough should double in size. 
  5. IMG_1792
  6. Dust your work table with some flour, place dough on it. Punch out the air from the dough with your fist. Divide the dough into 6 portions.
  7. IMG_1794
  8. Cut out two small ears from each portion, roll them out and shaped into balls. Cover with cling wrap and let the dough rest for 15 minutes.
  9. IMG_1795
  10. Take out the cookie dough, roll out between 2 pieces of parchment paper and cut out circles for Totoro's tummy. 
  11. IMG_1797
  12. Roll out bread dough and shape them again, place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, and add on the cookie dough cut out.
  13. IMG_1801
  14. Cover with cling wrap and let dough rise for 40 minutes.
  15. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius. Bake for around 15 minutes.
  16.  Draw in the details using chocolate.
  17. IMG_1791

Friday 27 December 2013

Panda Sandwich Bento

Black + Blum has kindly sent me one of their lunch box, the Sandwich on Board, just before I left for my vacation.

This is the beautiful box I received. This box is large at 1 litres, but it's perfect for packing in bread and sandwiches, as most traditional bento boxes are rather small for packing in a decent size sandwich. It works well for rice too, click HERE to check out my previous post where I packed in onigiris in this box. As you can see from my previous post, this functional box is definitely not restricted to packing sandwiches.

The Sandwich on Board combines an aluminium box with a wooden bamboo lid. The bamboo lid doubles as an antibacterial cutting board. How cool is that! The aluminum box has a rubber sealing all around the sides to prevent spillage and a black band holds everything together.

I packed in two grilled chicken sandwiches and a salad for my lunch.

I added on two pandas as decoration. The pandas were just cut out from cheese using two bear shaped cutters.

The Sandwich on Board is available in three colours, pink, green and silver. Pink and green are striking and pretty, but I chose sleek silver as I prefer a minimalist look. :)
Where to get same or similar items used in today's post:

Thursday 26 December 2013

Santa & Reindeer Bento

Happy belated Christmas! I was hoping to get this post up on my blog before Christmas, but I was both busy and lazy, which explains why this post is only up on the blog today. -_- I still have quite a lot of backlog to blog, not sure when I'll ever get them done at the rate I'm going. Hiaz.

Reindeer and Santa were made from mashed potato and sausage, their red noses are bubu arare ( rice puffs). I did not do a good job on the moulding, this was actually a last minute charaben, everything was done in a rush. I was busy baking that day as well. Reminder to self to not try to multi-task too much.

I actually have a few more Christmas ideas, but I got a little caught up in baking recently, guess I will just have to leave those ideas till next Christmas.

My boys made this very simple santa from strawberry and marshmallow before our vacation. They also helped to cut out the star shaped christmas tree at the back from pandan bread. :)
Where to get same or similar items used in today's post:

Monday 23 December 2013

Teddy Bear Shiratama

It was Winter Solstice yesterday, a time when Chinese will eat glutinous rice balls boiled in a sweet soup base, called Tang Yuan. My mum made us the traditional version on Saturday night when we drop by her house for our usual weekly dinner. And yesterday, I made my boys a cute version using the Japanese shiratama flour. The taste and texture of shiratama is very similar to the Chinese Tang Yuan.

These are very easy to make, just mix equal amounts of shiratama flour and silken tofu. Mix together till you can mould, just add a little more tofu if the mixture is still too dry. Then, shape them into whatever you like, traditionally these are shaped into balls. I made teddy bears this time. I have made pandas and penguins shiratama before, check them out HERE.

The dough can be coloured with the usual food gel colourings, and you can either mould on the tiny details or draw them on using food markers. Lastly, just cook them in boiling water till they floats. Serve with your favourite sweetened soup. I served them here in a sugar syrup with fruits. :)