Wednesday, 7 April 2010


Last night, as I called in to Jusco to pick up necessities for the next day, it occurred to me that I could actually indulge in a leisurely browse at the book shop (without having to be concerned about what my two year old might get up to if I were to take my eyes of her for more than a split second - her favourite new pass time is ripping paper into shreds!). Naturally, I headed straight for the cookery section and spent a good half hour trying to whittle down the small mountain of books in front of me to just one, oh decisions, decisions!

I do have plenty of gorgeous (yes, cookery books can be gorgeous) recipe books that I brought with me from the UK, but here so many of the ingredients can be hard to find (like self raising flour or golden syrup), and so I was after something Japanese. Torn between a book on how to make wagashi (those delicate, sweet morsels that get served with green tea), a book on baking with vegetables, and another book on the various uses of goma (sesame), I eventually settled on this:

It pretty much covers all of the above, plus has the advantage of being fairly simple to understand :-) Gosh, I am amazed at how many of the 363 recipes I can't wait to cook! Buckwheat sable biscuits? Kinako (roasted soya bean flour) and goma cookies? Sweet potato doughnuts? Obviously, I need to go shopping again...

Of course, I wanted to try something out straight away, so chose a simple sweetcorn bread (actually, it's more like a slightly savoury cake) that could be made in the rice cooker (remember, my temperamental oven has a strong dislike of baking):

This was so easy (and delicious) and turned out exactly like the photo in the book - yay!

Sweetcorn Bread

50g sugar
2 eggs
pinch of salt
1 1/2 tablespoons powdered cheese (I used Parmesan)
100g flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon milk
100g sweetcorn, drained (defrosted if using frozen)
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Whisk together the sugar and eggs, then add the salt and cheese. Sift in the flour and baking powder, then stir in the milk, sweetcorn and butter. Grease the rice cooker pan with a little butter and pour the batter in. Cook on the white rice setting, checking to see if it is cooked through as soon as it beeps to tell you it is done (if not, press the switch again and cook for an extra few minutes), and turn out onto a rack to cool.


  1. Cake in the rice cooker? Fantastic. I tried that once in college when rice cookers were still uber-primitive, and haven't tried it since then (35 years ago). But you've inspired me to give it another try. I just adore cookbooks.

  2. Fantastic indeed! There were quite a few different recipes for rice cooker cakes in this book (e.g. sweet potato and black sesame cake, carrot yoghurt cake), and it was rather a bargain at 840 yen :-) xxx

  3. Ooooh I might need to look this out - our oven is a bit crap at baking things too, I usually have to turn the oven off and let things finish in the residual heat to avoid the top being burnt while the middle is still runny!

    I spotted Golden Syrup last week - if you like I could pick up a bottle and send?

  4. Hi Umebossy,

    Where did you find Golden Syrup?! You have some good shops near you! Thank you for the offer, but my mum is coming to visit in a few weeks and I have asked her to bring some for me. I'll take you up on that offer when it runs out, though! xxx

  5. I can just picture you standing there in the bookstore eyes bulging out!!!! My daughter saw the book cover and wanted pudding now (I guess it's cheesecake though).

    Oh for Golden Syrup. Umebossy where did you find it? I still have half a jar but if I found it I wouldn't ration myself so much!!!

    An easy golden syrup recipe is to pan fry fresh mochi in some butter until crispy then put it on a plate and top with golden syrup. Don't share :)

  6. That so clever doing it in a rice cooker! Oh and if you ever want any inredients, let me know! I know what a bugger it can be getting some ingredients there! ;) xxx

  7. Golden syrup - on list for two weeks away when go home. That and Edmunds custard powder!

    I look at recipe books at the books shop - I even have a few. They tend to be of the 'obento in a minute' - 'cooking for two on a budget' and '101 easy meals' variety. I would love to get more into the whole cooking thing like you.

    Onwards and upwards. I'll get there someday :)

  8. Hi achan,

    The picture on the front is of a vanilla souffle, and actually I don't know what made them choose that photo as there are plenty of far more interesting treats inside! Mochi and golden syrup? Could be worth a try ;-) xxx

    Hi Lorraine,

    Thank you! And of course, the same applies to you - anything Japanese that you can't find in Sydney, you only have to ask! xxxxx

    Hi GW,

    Custard Powder (Bird's) is on my list too! And BluTac. And good deodorant! Not long til you go... I bet your mum can't wait! :-) x

  9. Ladies, I but them online here in Japan, if you want the link let me know, Anchan, how are you darling? This reminds me of Corn Bread... nom nom nom

  10. meant to say.. BUY.. UGH

  11. Hi GJ,

    I would really love to know where you buy those things! I've never had corn bread, so perhaps this is the same? You mean the stuff you eat with chili, right? This was delicious, would have been even better smothered in butter but that would be too naughty! xxx