Posts tagged winter
Cookie Butter Cake
Cookie Butter Cake // Eat Cho Food
Cookie Butter Cake // Eat Cho Food
Cookie Butter Cake // Eat Cho Food
Cookie Butter Cake // Eat Cho Food
Cookie Butter Cake // Eat Cho Food
Cookie Butter Cake // Eat Cho Food
Cookie Butter Cake // Eat Cho Food
Cookie Butter Cake // Eat Cho Food

Cookie Butter Cake // Eat Cho Food

We went out 3 of the last 4 nights and my internal 80 year old body is hating me for it. Reuben’s holiday party was on Friday and I met a whole gaggle of his new work peeps. I ate a lot of patatas bravas and churros and then ended up dancing off maybe 2 churros at a bar down the street. I felt so young and so hip… until the next morning. But I ate a lot of dumplings and rallied. I mustered enough energy to go to a friend’s cookie decorating party, without getting completely overwhelmed with social anxiety, and had enough holiday spirit to go to my office’s holiday party that night. We stayed out to 2 am, ate late night gloriously mediocre bar pizza, ubered home, laughed at all the weird things that happened throughout the night before passing out hard. Miraculously, I woke up feeling ok and desperately craving something green. I put soft pants on, scurried to the farmers market for some salad fixings, came home, ate salad, and officially melted into the couch for the remainder of the day. I had big plans of baking some cookies, but my body was like NOPE.

I was hoping that spending Sunday being a blanket burrito would be enough recovery for me, but then I woke up with another big fat NOPE. The moment I got to my desk I just couldn’t wait to go back home and sleep. But then my boss asked if I wanted to go to the Warriors game that night and it took me like .00000001 seconds to say UM, YES. He has incredible season pass tickets to the Warriors. As much as I love my hometown of Cleveland, I can’t let my (lack of) hometown sports pride hold me back from insane front row (sort of) tickets. We were so close to the players, I could almost hug them. Reuben said if I tried to hug them one of the intimidating body guards would tackle me to the ground. Whatever. It was such a fun time and I couldn’t help but feel so thankful to be there. Generosity is such a great quality in people and there is just something about this season that really makes the generous spirit shine. Whether it’s gifting once in a lifetime NBA tickets to your employee, or surprising a coworker with thoughtful vintage pottery (thanks, Alex and Francis!), buying a friend coffee, or just making someone a cake. Doing nice things for each other is simply just so great, isn’t it??

I have lots of generous people to be thankful for this season, so I better get baking on all those last minute cookies! Gosh, 7 days until Christmas already?! If you’re looking to bake up a treat for the people you care about in the next week, you can either go the cookie route or the cake route. I shared a great little cookie recipe last week and this week I have one of the most delicious and festive cakes I’ve made yet! COOKIE BUTTER CAKE. Until a few weeks ago, I had never purchased the infamous cookie butter from Trader Joe’s due to fear of addiction and gaining 100lbs. But! I took the plunge and got myself a jar for the sake of recipe development. The hype is real. Cookie butter is really really good. The flavors of cookie butter in this year’s holiday cake were great because I’m not a huge fan of gingerbread. Cookie butter has a bunch of the same warming spices we all crave this time of year, but without the intense molasses flavor. Then I covered the whole cake in my true love: cream cheese frosting. If you’re making this recipe, you could totally stop right there and you’ll have a smashing good cake. Anyway, I obviously have nothing else better to do with my weekends, so I made a little sugar cookie house and matcha tuile trees. I may or may not have drafted up the elevations of the sugar cookie house in AutoCAD (for those designer nerds out there…). I took a pretty minimal approach to decorating the house and the cake in general. I just loved how delicate and vibrant the trees turned out and wanted to keep the colors and forms of the cake simple. Gosh, I sound like an architect, don’t I?? A few blobs of buttercream and gold sprinkles were all that it needed.

However, for next year I would ideally like more time to dedicate to cookie architecture. Maybe I’ll attempt a Luis Barragan or Sea Ranch inspired cookie structure. I’ll add that to my list of 2019 goals and make it happen.

I think this cake is going to be my last recipe for 2018. Crazy! I hope you all have a wonderful, restful, and belly filled Christmas!


Cookie Butter Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

makes 1 - 2 layer 8” cake

cookie butter cake material:

2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter (12 tbsp)
1 cup white sugar
1 cup cookie butter (I used Trader Joe’s)
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk

cream cheese frosting materials:

12 oz cream cheese - softened
1 1/2 stick unsalted butter (12 tbsp) - softened
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
6 cups powdered sugar

to make the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Set aside.

  3. Place softened butter and sugar into the bowl of your standmixer set with the paddle attachment. Blend for 45 seconds at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add in cookie butter and blend for another 45 seconds until evenly mixed, fluffy, and lightly tan in color. Add in eggs and vanilla and blend until just mixed. Scrape down the sides when necessary.

  4. While mixing the batter on low speed, add in dry ingredients in 1/3rds, alternating with buttermilk in between. Mix until just combined, avoid over mixing.

  5. Grease 2 8” cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper. Add batter to cake pans. Smooth the tops with a small offset spatula. Bake for 28-32 minutes until done. Remove from the oven and allow cakes to cool in the pans for 5 minutes before removing from pans and placed on a wire rack to completely cool.

to make cream cheese frosting:

  1. Blend together cream cheese, butter, salt, and vanilla for 1 minute on medium speed until smooth. Reduce speed to low and gradually add in powdered sugar until smooth. Scrape down the sides when necessary.

to decorate:

  1. Place 1 layer of cake on a cake board or plate. Plop some frosting on top and smooth out the frosting into an even layer with an offset spatula. Place second layer on top. Cover the whole cake with frosting. For the ruffle detail use a petal decorating tip (one end is skinnier than the other). Hold the piping tip at a 45 degree angle, with the fatter end touching the caking and pipe the frosting while also turning the cake stand.

  2. Top with a sugar cookie house or cut outs and matcha tuile trees! Recipes are below!

Tuile Cookie Trees Recipe
- I added 1 tsp of matcha powder and formed them around a cone mold immediately out of the oven.

Sugar Cookie Recipe
- I omitted the tahini from my recipe and made cardstock cut outs of my house to trace on my rolled out cookie dough. Adhere the cooled cookie walls together with royal icing or extra buttercream.

Cookie Butter Cake // Eat Cho Food
Persimmon and Cream Cheese Bundt Cake
Persimmon and Cream Cheese Bundt Cake // Eat Cho Food
Persimmon and Cream Cheese Bundt Cake // Eat Cho Food
Persimmon and Cream Cheese Bundt Cake // Eat Cho Food
Persimmon and Cream Cheese Bundt Cake // Eat Cho Food
Persimmon and Cream Cheese Bundt Cake // Eat Cho Food
Persimmon and Cream Cheese Bundt Cake // Eat Cho Food
Persimmon and Cream Cheese Bundt Cake // Eat Cho Food

Hi, December! You got here real quick. Reuben and I made the innocent mistake of venturing out to the suburbs on Saturday afternoon and quickly realized that literally everyone and their mom in Daly City was out buying their Christmas trees and other holiday goodies because it was December 1st. I don't know if I've just been living in an urban bubble, but I didn't realize that holiday madness is in full swing on the 1st. All we wanted to do was run some errands at the suburban Target because the experience is so much better than the dinky city Targets, plus there are more Chip and JoJo products I can longingly gaze at. I've also been dreaming of draping garland over all the windows in our apartment! Reuben swiftly vetoed the fake stuff covered in glitter from Target, because our apartment is a strictly glitter free zone. Then the parking lot at Home Depot literally looked like hell on earth, so we gave up on the garland mission for the day. Don't worry though! We found a pile of the real deal stuff at the nursery down the street from us! (I could tell that you were worried) I bought enough to drape around 1 single window because, JEEZ, real garland is EXPENSIVE. I definitely got into the wrong profession. Back when I was in high school they did not tell us that in 10 years taking photos of your food and selling tree trimmings linked together would make you a pretty decent living.

In the 3 years that Reuben and I have lived together, we have never had a Christmas tree. Main reason being because we don't really have room for a tree and we have absolutely zero outlets left to plug anything new into. Don't look at our power strips. I think all our other plant babies would be jealous if we moved them around to make room for a temporary woodsy roommate. So this one single garland strung over my mini kitchen island is a huge step up for us in the holiday department! I just got the battery powered twinkly lights too : ) so get ready! Oh! I should decorate our rubber plant with twinkly lights! I'm semi nervous that the next month is going to fly by extremely quickly. I'm doing my best to slow down and savor the holidays. I'm making time to bake all the cookies, work on this year's holiday cake (it's going to be a good one!), listen to the few select Christmas songs I can tolerate, and be extra extra cozy at home. I miiiiiight even be able to convince Reuben to watch Love Actually with me this year!!! I'll let you know if I succeed.

To kick off the next month of holiday baking, I'm sharing this ultra moist and decadent Persimmon Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Filling. IT. IS. SO. GOOD. The recipe is actually based on Reuben's mom's Apple Cake. I've swapped out the apples with persimmons and added the cream cheese because you can eat all the cream cheese you want this month. I've had it once before when we were in New Jersey and it was amazing! It's one of Reuben's favorite desserts for a reason. When I was testing the recipe, I asked Reuben if he's ever watched his mom make it for him. He said no, because she would either make it early in the morning before he woke up, while is was at school, or the day earlier if he was coming from college. At the moment, I was like "Ah! I wish you had some idea if I was doing this right!". But once the cake was baked and it got Reuben’s seal of approval, I was thinking how magical and appropriate for the season his experience of never actually seeing the cake be made was. Like, how great is it to wake up in the morning with the smell of cinnamon and sugar baking wafting through your house and then realizing you're about to have cake for breakfast?! Or to come home from college for Christmas break and to be greeted by your family a slice of your favorite dessert in the kitchen?! Ugh, my heart. Those kind of memories, especially ones tied to delicious smells, are the ones that stay with you forever and then when you're 31 and don't live close to your parents anymore you ask your baker girlfriend to make you're mom's recipes.

Anyways, I hope you all enjoy the beginning of this magical season and fit in some time to bake some sweet treats for your loved ones! This bundt is a really great place to start : )


Persimmon and Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

bundt materials:

3-4 medium crisp fuyu persimmons
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup canola oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

cream cheese filling materials:

8 oz cream cheese - softened to room temperature
1 egg
1/4 white sugar
pinch of salt

steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Carefully remove the stems from persimmon and cut into 1/2” cubes, skin on. Place cubed persimmons in a large bowl and toss with white sugar. Set aside and allow to sit for 30 minutes.

  3. Make the cream cheese filling. Cream the cream cheese with sugar using the paddle attachment on your standmixer or with handheld beaters. Mix for about 1 minute until smooth. Add in egg and salt. Mix until combined. Set aside.

  4. Whisk together eggs, canola oil, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Combine flour, salt, baking soda, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Give it a quick whisk to combine. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix together until combine. Mix in persimmons until they are well dispersed in the batter. Batter will be really thick.

  5. Grease a bundt pan with non-stick spray. Pour half of the batter in bundt pan. Scoop cream cheese filling in the center of the batter ring. Add in remaining cake batter. If the batter almost fills your mold, don’t worry. The batter does not dome up too much.

  6. Place in the oven and bake for 75-80 minutes until done. Test for doneness using a clean toothpick or knife.

  7. Allow cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then invert the cake pan onto a wire rack. Cake should fall out of the bundt mold. Allow to completely cool and then enjoy!

Shiitake Mushroom and Beef Noodle Soup
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Heyyyy! How was your holiday break? Have you gained 20 pounds from cookies? Do you feel rested and ready to take on 2018? I baked a billion cookies, a cake, and a dozen pineapple buns. Impressed my Grandma with my baking skills and she now believes I can actually cook. Watched Coco with my family and tried to not ugly cry in public the whole time (THE MOVIE WAS SO GOOD AND BEAUTIFUL). Started watching The Crown and got my brother hooked on Riverdale (it's so terrible but so good). It has been great!

I'm wrapping up my time at home and flying back to San Francisco tomorrow night. Leaving my parent's house is always so bittersweet. Whenever I go home I always feel like a part of me reverts back to my 18 year old self, which is good and bad. Back in San Francisco, I'm a real self-sufficient and independent adult that can take care of herself. But when I'm home, all of a sudden I melt into the couch and my mom takes care of everything for me! So grateful for her. As relaxing as my time at home has been, I'm ready to get back into my normal routine and to see Reuby again! I miss my tiny kitchen, too!

Since it is nearing the end of 2017, I guess it is a time for reflection and figuring out my resolutions. So here it goes...

1. Eat more vegetables and drink more water - Pretty basic, but after all the indulgence the last few weeks I'm contemplating going vegetarian for the month of January and sort of miss going to the gym... who am I?!!!

2. Cook more of the food that I love - that includes noodle soups, dumplings, and buns! I'm super proud of all the recipes I've cranked out this past year, but I feel like there was a severe shortage of noodles and dumplings. Gonna change that.

3. Don't let Instagram get to me - To be honest with you guys, I've been developing a lot of anxiety while scrolling through Instagram. It wasn't always this way. But lately, I feel myself comparing myself to other accounts, feeling insecure, and unsure of what I want to share with the world. I don't like feeling that way, so I just have to keep reminding myself that we all have our own story to share and that the point of Eat Cho Food is to cook food that I love! Resolution #2, ya know??

4. Visit my family more - It gets harder and harder to be away from my family each year that I am away. So I've been trying to squeeze in more trips home every year. I'll be working on a project in Chicago the next few months, so I'm hoping to make some weekend trips from Chicago to Cleveland work out! Need to bake some more buns with Cho Momma!

5. Connect - This is a constant resolution for me. But I always want to work on my connections with people. Reuben. My family. My friends. You. It's hard when people are scattered around the world, but it brings me a lot of joy to connect with a far away living friend, even if it is a short phone call!

For my last recipe of 2017, I'm sharing my favorite comfort food. Noodle soup. I crave it when I'm sick. When I'm sad. When I'm tired. When I feel like celebrating. Heck, all the time! My mom can make a mean noodle soup out of anything. The random ingredients left in our fridge. Or the leftover pot roast that needs to get eaten up. This noodle soup has a super rich and deep broth made up of shiitake mushrooms and beef. The mushroom broth is made by steeping dried shiitake mushrooms in hot water. You can get dried shiitake mushrooms at most asian supermarkets. If you're soaking mushrooms for a stir fry or a non soup dish, never throw away the broth, it's way to valuable to waste! Freeze and save it for the next time you need some quick soup! This noodle soup is nourishing and comforting. After all the cookies, cakes, and meaty feasts, this is the perfect simple bowl of food to start your new year off with!

Happy New Year!


Shiitake Mushroom and Beef Noodle Soup

serves 4

materials:

10-12 dried shiitake mushrooms
3 cups boiling hot water
4 cups beef broth
3 cloves garlic
1 small white onion
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper - or more to taste
2 tsp dark soy sauce
1/3 cup chopped green onions

1 package of rice noodles - prepared according to packaged directions. Leave noodles in a strainer and tossed with a bit of oil to keep the noodles from sticking.

1 ribeye steak
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
2 tsp oil

* You can make this vegetarian by swapping out the beef broth for vegetable broth and the steak with tofu or bok choy. 

steps:

Place the dried shiitake mushrooms in a heat proof container and pour boiling water over them. Make sure the mushrooms are submerged. Cover with a lid or plate and set aside for 30 minutes to allow the mushrooms to soften and steep to produce your mushroom broth.

Combine the steak with oyster sauce, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp white pepper, and oil in a bowl, container, or ziplock bag. give it a good mix and allow the steak to marinade for 20-30 minutes, while you prepare your soup.

Thinly slice the garlic cloves and chop the green onions. Peel and slice the white onion in half and then thinly slice into crescents. Set aside.

Once the mushrooms have soaked, remove the mushrooms and either cut them in half or leave them whole if they are small enough. You can also slice them if that is your preference. Strain the mushroom broth through a fine mesh sieve to catch any grit. Set aside the broth and the mushrooms.

Add the beef broth, mushroom broth, sliced garlic, onions, white of the green onion, salt, white pepper and dark soy into a pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling add the mushrooms and bring the heat down to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes. Taste and adjust flavorings according.

To prepare your steak, add a bit of oil into a skillet and bring up to a medium high heat. Sear the steak for 3 minutes on each side for medium rare. Cook for longer if you prefer your meat cooked more well. Remember that the heat of the soup will cook the steak a little more. Place the steak on a cutting board and allow to rest for 3 -5 minutes. Thinly slice the steak.

To assemble the noodle soup bowls add a bundle of cooked rice noodles into a bowl. Place a few slices of steak on top and ladle your soup over the noodles and steak, making sure the grab a few mushrooms. Garnish with the green onions and enjoy!