Posts tagged frozen
Spiced Hojicha Pudding Pops
Spiced Hojicha Pudding Popsicles

Ah, September. September is that awkward month where EVERYONE is coming down from a high of Labor Day Weekend and have pumpkin spice lattes pumping through their veins… but I’m over here still making popsicles and cold noodle salads because summer is actually just starting in the Bay Area. Hopefully… I’m looking out my window right now the sky is pretty grey and I’m looking for my sweater. I bet you a pudding pop that the Sun will come out and I’ll be all sweaty after my grocery store run this afternoon.

Before I rant about how I’ll be cooking recipes in a seasonal limbo this month, tell me how your LDW was! Reuben and I rarely plan to leave town during holiday weekends because we have a fear of holiday traffic and large groups of people trying to do the same thing… BUT we actually booked a weekend away without realizing that it was in fact Labor Day Weekend. Silly us. It worked out for us because it turns out not that many people know about Placerville, CA! We were looking for nature-y Airbnbs with a pool or access to water without the Lake Tahoe price tag or mass of people. So we found this lovely spot called Reverie Retreat complete with an insane pool, an edible garden, and some yurts! We stayed in the cottage though because I’m too much of a wuss to stay in a yurt right now.

It couldn’t have been more perfect. The mountains and views were like a Bob Ross painting, the pool was crisp, the rivers were chilly but refreshing and not too far, and the closest city was quirky and weird. We swam every day, got a little tan, watched a Reggae Dance Hall show and a Folky Bluegrass concert without even trying, ate the best coconut shrimp and hush puppies, and consumed enough chips and beer cheese for the rest of the year. I would say it was an A+++ weekend! We started looking at property around the area and day dreaming about having our own land with yurts and a garden. Could you imagine a mountain dumpling workshop?!!!! We will see…

Spiced Hojicha Pudding Popsicles
Spiced Hojicha Pudding Popsicles
Spiced Hojicha Pudding Popsicles

Let’s get back to these pudding pops! These Spiced Hojicha Pudding Pops are going to help me transition during this weird season of Summer/Fall flip flopping. Popsicles are summery for obvious chilly reasons, but I feel like pudding pops are a great medium for bolder and deeper flavors. The creamy milky consistency is just calling for some spices to cut through the richness of the milk!

Hojicha is a roasted green tea. I love it so much! It’s nutty, smokey, toasty, and a little caramel-y. For people who say that tea is just not their thing and they must have coffee in the morning, I recommend giving hojicha a shot. It has a similar deep richness as a cup of coffee, especially if you brew it strong! When you add in a dash of cinnamon and cloves elevates all those cozy flavors even more!

Spiced Hojicha Pudding Popsicles

How To Make Hojicha Pudding Pops

I’ve historically been a icy popsicle person because those recipes require almost no effort at all. But when I first started making pudding pops I realized that pretty much all popsicles are super easy to make! Pudding pops require maybe 1 extra step of cooking the milk to thicken the consistency, but that step only takes a few extra minutes! I also forgot how satisfying having creamy popsicle can be!

The step in making these Hojicha Pudding pops is infusing the tea with the milk. I use this method in all my tea based recipes. All you do is simmer the milk with the tea leaves to extract as much tea flavor as you can. In this case, we simmer the tea and milk for 5-7 minutes. The milk will have a nice caramel color to it. You then strain out the tea leaves and place the milk back in the pot to continue cooking with some cornstarch (as the thickener), some spices, and sugar. Once the mixture is thick you pour it into the molds and freeze until solid. THAT’S IT.

If you want to be extra fancy, you can drizzle on some chocolate and add a sprinkle of sea salt. I highly recommend this extra step because the bites with a big salt chuck are just soooooooo good!

Spiced Hojicha Pudding Popsicles
Spiced Hojicha Pudding Popsicles
Spiced Hojicha Pudding Popsicles

These popsicles can keep in the freezer for a few weeks! Until freezer smell starts to creep in or until you invite some friends over and they disappear in a few minutes! I’m having some ladies come over tonight so the few pudding pops left in my freezer might be gone by tomorrow. I’m going to bake my first pumpkin thing today because I’m not a monster. I really do love Fall, I just wish our weather wasn’t so silly and crazy! Happy Fall and transitional popsicle making, friends!

Also! Below are some snaps from our sunny weekend : )

Spiced Hojicha Pudding Popsicles

Spiced Hojicha Pudding Pops

makes 10 - 3oz popsicles

materials:

3 1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup loose leaf hojicha tea leaves
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 cup white sugar

1/4 cup dark chocolate - optional
1 tsp coconut oil - optional
flakey sea salt - optional

steps:

  1. Add milk and tea leaves to sauce pan or medium pot. Bring to a gentle simmer and simmer for 5-7 minutes. Watch the milk because it has a tendency to boil over. Turn off the heat and pour the milk and tea mixture through a fine mesh sieve and into a heat proof container. Discard the tea leaves.

  2. Add the tea infused milk back into the pot. Turn the heat onto medium low - barely simmering. Whisk together cornstarch and water and pour into the milk while continually whisking. Add spices and sugar. Whisk for an additional 3-4 minutes until the mixture has thickened and coats the back of a spoon.

  3. Pour the mixture into a glass measuring cup and allow to slightly cool for 2 minutes. Pour the mixture into popsicle molds and freeze until solid - about 4 hours.

optional decoration step:

  1. Melt chocolate and coconut oil over a double boiler until smooth. Or melt in the microwave in 15 second increments, mixing in between. It’s important to only microwave in 15 second increments so the chocolate doesn’t burn.

  2. Remove the pudding pops out of the molds and place on a parchment paper line baking tray.

  3. Drizzle the chocolate over the pudding pops and sprinkle with flakey sea salt. Place pudding pops back in the freezer to firm up or until ready to enjoy.


Labor+Day+Weekend+2019+-+Eat+Cho+Food
Labor Day Weekend 2019 - Eat Cho Food
Labor Day Weekend 2019 - Eat Cho Food
Labor Day Weekend 2019 - Eat Cho Food
Labor Day Weekend 2019 - Eat Cho Food
Labor Day Weekend 2019 - Eat Cho Food
Labor Day Weekend 2019 - Eat Cho Food
Labor Day Weekend 2019 - Eat Cho Food
Labor Day Weekend 2019 - Eat Cho Food
Labor Day Weekend 2019 - Eat Cho Food
Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles
Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles - Eat Cho Food
Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles - Eat Cho Food
Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles - Eat Cho Food
Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles - Eat Cho Food
Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles - Eat Cho Food

The very first popsicle I ever made was in the early 90s, when I was a walking bowl cut on a stick. Here is the exact recipe I followed...

  1. Pour 1 can of Sunkist Orange Soda into a ice cube tray.

  2. Cover the ice cube tray with plastic wrap and stick a toothpick into each ice cube.

  3. Freeze until solid.

  4. Enjoy while watching Pokemon with your brother.

Gosh, I loved those orange soda popsicles. I was always an orange soda kid. Grape soda was and still is disgusting. I’m not sure if I saw a kid on public access tv make them or if it was a pre-Eat Cho Food original creation. Childhood summers were so blissfully simple. My brother and I would spend our summer days at the restaurant when we were little, watching TV, flying kites in the back parking lot with my grandpa, making play dough characters, and roller blading in the dining room if there weren’t any customers around. When we got a little older we were able to stay home by ourselves. We still watched a lot of TV, made snacks, played with our backyard neighborhood friends, and made up silly game to entertain ourselves. Oh and we consumed lots of popsicles, Rita’s Ice, Mitchell’s Ice Cream, and Apple Cart soft serve! I’m going home again in August and I’m sooooo looking forward to it actually feeling like summer and eating all the ice cream.

In the meantime SF it is a consistent 65 degrees, which is that weird in between weather where it’s chilly enough to enjoy a bowl of noodle soup but also warm enough to have a popsicle in the afternoon. It’s sort of like my current outfit of shorts and a pullover sweater. I didn’t say I was a fashion blogger…

ANYWAYS. I like knowing that I have these frozen treats waiting for me in the freezer just in case a 100+ degree day pops back up again! Similar to my orange soda popsicles, these Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles are incredibly easy to make. I trust that my 6 year old self would have been able to make these! I just might have needed the help from a trusted adult to open the can of lychees.

Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles - Eat Cho Food
Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles - Eat Cho Food
Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles - Eat Cho Food

If you want to use fresh lychees you could totally do that. But the beauty of using canned lychee is that you already have a delicious lychee simple syrup waiting for you and you didn’t have to do anything except buy it! It’s a little too sugary sweet on it’s own for my own taste, so I dilute the syrup with a little bit of water. The popsicle molds are filled wth lychee and raspberries and if you’re using a standard popsicle mold, the fruit should stay in place due to friction. Pour the syrup mixture over the fruit, stick some popsicle sticks in and let them freeze for a few hours until they're solid. I love the color and appearance of the popsicles once they are frozen solid. The raspberry juice bleeds just a little to give the popsicles a light blush color. You could use any berry you have on hand instead of raspberries, but what I love about the combination of raspberries and lychees is that the berries are tart and bright to balance the simply sweet flavor of the lychee.

Don’t be fooled by the addition of lychee in the recipe. These popsicles are so simple and take almost no time to make. That way you have more time to go play outside, fly kites, or watch Pokemon with your sibling!


Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles

makes 10 popsicles

materials:

1 20oz can of lychees in syrup
4 oz raspberries
1 cup water

popsicle sticks

steps:

  1. Remove lychees from the syrup and set aside.

  2. Pour remaining lychee syrup into a large measuring cup. You should have about 1 1/2 cups of syrup. Add 1 cup of water to the syrup and give it a quick mix. Set aside.

  3. Add a few lychees and raspberries into your popsicle molds. Cut lychees and berries in half if needed. Fill each mold with the lychee syrup mixture. Add popsicle sticks and freeze until solid.

  4. Once solid, run the popsicle mold under hot water for a few seconds to help release. Enjoy!

Coconut Cantaloupe Popsicles
Coconut Cantaloupe Popsicles
Coconut Cantaloupe Popsicles
Coconut Cantaloupe Popsicles
Coconut Cantaloupe Popsicles
Coconut Cantaloupe Popsicles
Coconut Cantaloupe Popsicles

Gosh, I've been bad at this whole food blogging thing! Sorry I was absent for a while again. Life has been a little crazy. I feel like I say that once a month. As you probably know, I applied to be on The Great American Baking Show. That happened about 2 weeks ago and a bunch of crazy stuff has happened since then. Once I sent in my application, I took a deep breath and waited like 2 seconds. The next day I got a phone call that lead to another phone call, which then lead to a semi awkward facetime interview, and then all of a sudden I was preparing to do down to Los Angeles to audition in person. Holy cow! My little anxious heart was going to explode. So that's why I've been a little quite on the blog.

For the LA auditions I needed to bring a highly decorated bake, a pastry, and a loaf of bread following their super basic recipe. I had one week to figure out what I was going to make, practice each a few times, and figure out how the hell I was going to be able to bake all these thing at the right time so that they still taste good after a 7 hour drive to LA. Oh, and like still work a real full time job and deal with life all at the same time. I decided to a make a tahini layer cake filled with plum jam, covered in vanilla swiss meringue buttercream, and topped with matcha macarons and baked meringues for my decorated bake. There was a lot going on. For my pastry I made an oolong tea pastel de nata or egg tart if you're more familiar with the egg tarts you find at dim sum. The only component I've ever made before was the plum jam... and the bread sort of. So I was really pushing myself with this challenge.

Last week felt like Hell Week, which is what we would call the last week leading up to final reviews in architecture school. It's as awful as the name alludes to. We would stay up all night, eat a lot of vending machine ice cream sandwiches, occasionally suffer an x-acto knife injury, and design something eventually. I didn't really sleep, at least not peacefully. Did I mention that I'm an anxious person? I burned myself pretty bad on a 450 degree dutch oven while practicing my bread. I was being dumb and had a margarita that night... so don't drink and handle hot metal. But that bread was the best bread I've ever made! So that's something! It was a week of many many failures and a few successes. By the end of the week I was feeling somewhat confident in my bakes.

It had finally struck 6pm on Thursday and I was quietly packing up my things to head home and bake for the rest of the night. But my coworkers noticed and gave me a sweet little send off and cheered me on for the weekend. It was a great little boost that I needed : ) I headed home and baked for what felt like days. I slept for maybe 3 hours, got up at 3am to bake some more. Then all of a sudden it was 9am and I had a pretty cake, some egg tarts, and a b+ loaf of bread to transport down to LA. Thankfully Reuben also took the day off to be my personal driver, so I didn't have to be a zombie baker and a zombie driver at the same time. I thought I could sleep on the driver down there, but nope! I was a little too anxious to allow my mind to shut off. I just had no idea how this judging process was going to go. The unknown makes me nervous sometimes. I imagined that the judging would be like how my architecture critiques would go. I would stand up there, present my process and reasoning behind each bake and discuss their praises and critiques. That I felt comfortable with. But that's not really how it went down.

The judging took place in the ballroom of the hotel the production company got us a room at, which was super convenient. Reuben and I arrived at the hotel about an hour before my tasting slot. So I had a little bit of time to calm down and make myself look like a presentable adult person. I carefully gripped my bakes and brought them down to the ballroom. The room was filled with who I assumed were producers, one of whom I recognized from facetiming and chatting on the phone with all week. Hi, Matt! They placed my bakes on a big Cheesecake Factory scale platter and carried them into another mysterious room. I guess I wasn't going to be in the room as they were tasting. Reuben and I waited outside for about 10 minutes until they were ready to bring me in. There were 2 people in there- baking experts. They told me that overall my bakes were really beautiful. I had a minimal but impactful style that was refreshing to see. That's a good comment, right?!! I was feeling good. Then they told me that the tahini in the cake was a little too savory and that the oolong tea turned my custard a little grey. Ugh, not good. But overall they said that everything tasted good. Cool. The second half of the session was them asking me if I've made x,y, and z. Have I made a 3 tiered wedding cake? NO. Have you made puff pastry from scratch before? NO. Have you croissants? NO. Have you made a mirror glaze? NO. I did say yes to a few things, but about 75% of the things they asked about I had never made before.

There was a knock on the door and my audition was over. It all happened so fast. I walked out, met up with Reuben, and we were directed to just hang around the hotel a little bit until the judges decided if I was going on to the last and final round of the audition, which would be a technical bake the next day. So we went to the hotel bar. I ordered a white wine and we watching the first 5 minutes of the incredibly disappointing game 4 of the NBA finals. I got a call on my phone from Matt, my producer, and he told me that I was not going through to the next round. I had only been at the hotel for less than 2 hours and already my weird baking journey was over. I teared up just a little bit, but held it together because I was sitting at the bar of a hotel surrounded by strangers. By this point I was mentally and physically exhausted. But my sadness quickly dissipated. I realized that I did it. I put myself into this weird and challenging scenario and followed it through. I felt proud of myself. And I felt a sense of relief honestly. I felt like throughout the entire audition process I was pushing myself into this mold that I didn't really fit into. I'm not really baker. I would never say that I'm a baker. I enjoy baking and love experimenting with my bakes. But I'm really a cook. I love chopping vegetables and eating noodles to much. 

Plus we now had the whole weekend in LA to just hang out! The production company paid for our hotel all weekend, so I pretty much worked really hard all week for a free hotel in LA. It was great! We found some great beer bars and some really really amazing food. The hotel was in Glendale, Ca, which has the largest Armenian community in the US. So we got to experience some top notch Armenian food. If you're in LA, you must try Mini Kabob in Glendale, it's sooooooo good! The Chef also had a taco pop up at Smorgasburg, so we decided to stay a little longer on Sunday and stop by for some free tacos and all the other crazy food you can find there. It was so much fun! I wish San Francisco had one too!

This whole experience ended up being really wonderful, and I have absolutely no regrets doing it. Thanks to all of you who were cheering me on throughout the whole process and sent sweet words to me when I told you I didn't make it through. Thank you to my friends for being there for me and not getting annoyed of me as I was live texting the whole experience. And the biggest thank you to Reuben! Seriously, what a guy. He has to deal with the not so fun side of the experience. Everyone else just gets to say, "You can do it!" and cheer. But Reuben had to handle the many times I broke down from stress and dramatic moments. Like when I burned my hand and cried all night. I get sort of mean when I get grumpy. But thankfully Reuben still loves me after this who experience. He's so kind and patient with me. Really could not have done this whole thing without him by my side.

So this story really has nothing to do with popsicles! But I've been meaning to share this recipe for like a month now... I got a little busy obviously. This recipe is super simple, super fresh, and really visually appealing if you're into geometric color blocks like me : ) I hope you enjoy them and have a great week!


Coconut Cantaloupe Popcicles

makes 10 popsicles

materials:

3 cups cubed cantaloupe
1 cup + 1/3 cup coconut milk
1 1/2 cup coconut yogurt (I used Noosa Yogurt)
1/4 cup honey or agave syrup

steps:

1. Blend together cantaloupe and 1 cup coconut milk until thick and smooth. Taste for sweetness. You can add a bit of honey or agave syrup if you prefer it a little sweeter. 

2. Pour cantaloupe mixture into your popsicle molds so that they are filled 2/3rds of the way up. Place the popsicles in the freezer, propped up at an angle and allow to freeze for 1 hour.

3. Mix together coconut yogurt, 1/3 cup coconut milk and honey or agave syrup until combined. Fill the remainder of the popsicle molds with the yogurt mixture. Insert popsicle sticks and place back into the freezer to completely set up.

4. Enjoy once completely frozen!