This whole week has been all about kasutera making – on my third go, I decided to make a matcha kasutera (green tea honey sponge cake) by using the same recipe as before, but adding 2 TB of matcha powder. It’s important to mix the matcha with the flour ahead of time and sift it twice to make sure the green tea is evenly mixed with the bread flour.
My loaf pan wasn’t clean this time around so I decided to use a square pan that was about 8 1/2 to 9″ across – which meant I had less batter than normal so the cake came out shorter and only needed about 35-40 minutes in the oven. I also made more of an effort to smooth out the air bubbles in the top before baking so the top came out much more even this time. It only became a bit wrinkly because I put a honey glaze on top and then parchment paper over before covering in plastic wrap and cooling in the fridge.
I haven’t just been making cake all week though! A friend recommended a Japanese manga called “Hatsukoi Lunch Box”, which means “first love lunch box.” Each chapter revolves around the two main characters helping friends with their love problems by making bentous (弁当, Japanese lunch boxes) that convey their feelings to their crushes. At the end of each chapter, were recipes for all the food mentioned in the chapter. Since the manga is geared towards elementary and middle-schoolers, they were all simple and relatively quick recipes that are great for packing into lunch boxes. They also make for nice and fast but healthy meals at home when you don’t want to spend all day cooking.
Below, I used two of the recipes from the manga – soboro don (そぼろ丼, minched chicken and egg over rice), and a tuna potato salad which I modified by adding peas and carrots as well to get more veggies in. The same chapter that had the tuna potato salad also featured an omurice recipe (オムライス, omelette wrapped around ketchup fried rice) as well, which I made for dinner the previous night. The manga was pretty cute even if the stories were rather repetitive and simple – but it’s the recipes that really make it fun and I look forward to making more of the foods from this manga!