Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Premium Kit Kats from Japan

Are you a fan of Kit Kats? You know those bars of chocolate-covered wafers that's so hard to resist? Well if you find it easy to resist the typical Kit Kat bars you're used to seeing, you might not have such an easy time with these premium versions of Kit Kats found at the Kit Kat Chocolatory that opened up about a year ago here in Japan.

So far, I only know of one place that sells these special Kit Kats and that is in Ikebukuro at the very exclusive Kit Kat Chocolatory store located in the food hall of Seibu Department Store. There's usually a long line on the weekends and a small line forms even on weekdays.

So one day I found myself standing in line on a slow weekday and there were only about 7 people in front of me. Not bad at all. So as I stood in line, I had to try and decide on 5 flavors that I would purchase for myself. Why 5 flavors you ask? Here's the thing.

These Kit Kats are expensive! Each box comes with 4 individual packs of smallish Kit Kats and they cost 400 Yen ( $4.00 US ) per box. And the box is small! So even with 5 boxes, that comes out to over 2000 yen not including tax! So 5 flavors is my limit for this round of taste testing.

After looking at the various offerings, I decided on these flavors. Butter, Ume, Green Tea and Kinako, Strawberry Maple and Matcha Sakura. Interesting flavor combinations that's for sure and that's exactly why I wanted to try them out. And did I mention you can't get them at regular stores even in Japan?

Obviously I've already created a video on it so if you want to see them up close and in vivid detail, check it out.


As always let me know what you thought and definitely check the video out as I taste all the wonderful flavors of these very premium Kit Kats. 

If you've never tried Japanese Kit Kats before, you owe it to try them out for yourself. This sampler pack includes unique flavors such as Tokyo Rum Raisin, Nagoya Red Bean Sandwich, Yawataya Togarashi (Chili Pepper), Yokohama Strawberry Cheesecake, Shinshu Apple, Wasabi. 

Friday, May 8, 2015

Mother's Day Pancakes and Scones

Mother's Day is just right around the corner and I've been busy coming up with a couple of recipes that are sure to please the most important person in your life. For me, it was a toss-up between making her some muffins or a nice Japanese-style brunch. But when she mentioned she'd like to eat pancakes, that pretty much threw my idea out of the window.

In the end, I decided to make her two things. To start off the day right, my mother needs a proper breakfast and since she requested pancakes, I've decided on making them extra special. For the afternoon, she'll be treated to some Matcha Scones drizzed with Lemon Glaze and more Matcha Glaze just because she deserves that much more. 

Introducing my Strawberry Shortcake Pancakes! I'm pretty happy with how they turned out. These pancakes are the fluffiest I've made and the strawberries and cream makes it visually appealing. Just check them out. Don't they look pretty? 

So let me first share with you my recipe for Strawberry Shortcake Pancakes. Or if you prefer, you can click here for the video tutorial to see me in action with some serious food porn!


1 cup flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt     
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon butter

1 cup whipped cream
2 tablespoons condensed milk
15 strawberries, cut in half
strawberry sauce (combine 2 tablespoons strawberry jam, 1 teaspoon warm water, 1 teaspoon sugar)


Add lemon to milk and mix. Set aside for at least 10 minutes. 
Sift the flour in a large bowl. Add sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Mix to incorporate. 
Add egg into milk and mix. Add to dry mixture and mix until just incorporated. 
Add melted butter into the batter and fold in. Let batter rest in refrigerator for 30 minutes or use immediately. 
Heat griddle or frying pan. Add butter or oil to grease. Pour 2-3 tablespoons of batter and cook for 2-3 minutes. 
Flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. 
To decorate, place a pancake onto a platter. 
Add strawberry sauce on top. Add fresh strawberry layer. Add a dollop of cream. 
Add another pancake, sauce, strawberries and cream again. Top with last pancake. 
Drizzle strawberry sauce, condensed milk, fresh strawberries and whipped cream. 
Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy. 


For the scones I sort of cheated. I got out an old recipe of mine that I created a few years ago but here's the thing. I've made all kinds of scones but nothing comes close to scone perfection than these Matcha Scones with Lemon Glaze. If you like Matcha Green Tea, these scones are definitely for you. My mother loves Matcha so I know she's going to love these. Click here to watch the video tutorial

INGREDIENTS: Makes 8 scones

2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup very cold butter
5 tablespoons milk
1 egg beaten 
1 1/2 teaspoon matcha powder unsweetened

1/4 cup lemon juice
1 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
zest of one lemon


Preheat oven to 190C/375F
Add dry ingredients to large bowl. Mix to incorporate. 
Add cold butter and cut in with hands until it resembles coarse cookie crumbs. 
Mix egg and milk in small bowl. Mix a little into dry ingredients. Mixture should be just moist. No more liquid is needed. 
Flour your working space. Turn dough onto it. Knead 8 times only. 
Cut dough in half and mold into two even circles. 
Divide each circle into 4 triangles. Brush with egg mixture. 
Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown on top. Cool. 
To make the glaze, melt butter and lemon juice until combined. 
Turn off heat and add confectioner's sugar. Mix until smooth. 
Divide glaze into two. Add lemon zest into one and mix. 
Add matcha powder into the other one and mix well. 
Drizzle scones with lemon glaze and then the matcha glaze. 
Set scones aside for 15 minutes before devouring. 


The best tip I can give you for these scones is to make sure you're using the best Matcha Powder possible as this makes all the difference in flavor. I highly recommend using Ceremonial Grade like the one here. You really don't need to use much with good quality Matcha. 

So what do you guys think of my two ideas for Mother's Day? What are you planning to serve up to your mother on this very special day? 

Thanks for reading and I wish everyone out there a Happy Mother's Day!