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Posts Tagged ‘Desserts’

Yesterday I showed you my Birthday Dinner.  You may have wondered, “But what about the cake!”

Well, of course.  There was cake.  Wanna see?

Blueberry Shirley cake 2

Dr. Tae Yun Kim, when she grew up, never had any birthday cakes.  In fact, her parents were so ashamed to have a girl as their firstborn child, that they never even celebrated her birthday – until she was 50 years old!

To Dr. Tae Yun Kim a birthday cake is not about indulging in sweets for the sake of it, but it is a symbol of all the sweetness in life for the coming year!  So of course we want a good cake!

Now, since we are all focused on healthy foods, we try to make healthy birthday cakes as well.  Especially diabetes friendly ones, since some Jung Suwon warriors have diabetes.  Did you know that there is no such thing as a “Diabetes Diet?”  One doctor pointed out that what diabetics should eat is what everyone should eat – it’s simply a healthy and balanced diet!

Now, how can you have a healthy cake?  Isn’t that a contradiction right there?  Not necessarily.  There are a few requirements of course to make it healthy.  For this blog, it has to be gluten free.  It also needs to be low in carbs and reasonable in fat content.

My go-to cake, ever since I went gluten free 4 years ago, has been “Shirley cake.”  You can find this genious recipe here, right on Shirley’s Blog “Gluten free easily.” It’s pure genious because no matter what I have ever added to this cake recipe, it always, and I mean always, has come out perfect!

Shirley cake with Chestnuts

It’s of course gluten free, so that’s covered. But what about carbohydrate content?  On first look I was worried.  I mean, after all, it’s a pound cake.  But after I found this nifty little tool on the internet, a recipe calculator, I found out that one slice only has 12 grams of carbohydrates per slice, and only 134 calories.  (Now to be honest, who can ever stick to that serving size….. that wouldn’t be me….)  Also, I have very successfully substituted half of the gluten free flour with almond flour, and that would lower the carb load considerably.

Birthday cake

Still, you get the point.  So, yes, Shirley cake is practically a health food!  🙂

Since Dr. Tae Yun Kim‘s birthday was February 2nd, and since she was out of town for this, we’ll celebrate upon her return, and guess what cake I’ll be making!

 

 

 

 

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Sometimes it’s all in the presentation.

Dr. Tae Yun Kim always puts great emphasis on the right presentation, whether that be food, or flowers, or a gift. When you want to show someone you really love them, you will probably cook with all your heart and set up a beautiful table and have candlelight….you wouldn’t just throw down a paper plate with a hamburger from a fast food place, right?  This presentation thing is the same with letters, resumes, cover letters and pretty much every aspect of life!

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So, in my last post I introduced you to one of my childhood favorites.  When I made a second batch (just purely for taking pictures, cough cough) I had made way too much of the filling.  Now, as I was looking at the bowl full of (albeit very delicious tasting) goop, I got all kinds of ideas what to do with it.

Remembering Dr. Tae Yun Kim‘s words, I realized that putting out that bowl of goop and telling people how great it tastes, just wouldn’t do.  I mean, look at the stuff!

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However, didn’t I say in my previous post that it should have the consistency of cake pops??  Oh yes!

So, you can guess what I did!  Go ahead, and to the same!  And if you really want to take this over the top, freeze this for a bit – and then enjoy this cool, new treat!

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Did you know that your environment will influence you, for good or bad?  If you happen to walk into a house where there is a lot of conflict – even if there is peace at that moment, that “conflict” energy will sooner or later get to you, one way or another.  This is what Dr. Tae Yun Kim has taught me, and she went to explain further that we also associate different foods with different qualities.  For example, Dr.  Kim explains, if you were eating spaghetti when you got news that your sister just had that baby, you will most likely – consciously or subconsciously – associate spaghetti with “happy” and it will be a great time for you whenever you have it.

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Well, in my case, the above.  Punschkrapferl, as they are called in my native Austria.  It could be translated into something like punch cupcakes.  Growing up, when we were poor, being able to go to a pastry shop on a Sunday afternoon, and get one of those, was pure bliss.  It was heaven with a pink frosting.  It is, to this day, a reminder of happy, peaceful, childhood days.

I hadn’t had one in about 7 years, before I went gluten-free and was on a visit to Austria.  But ever since I found that “Perfect Pound cake” from Shirley, it has been on my mind to re-create these Punschkrapfen.  Last night was it!

First, either get some organic, apricot jam.  Or, make your own on the spot, as I did, from home-frozen apricots, a touch of honey, and some brandy.  Let it cook until nice and thick, and taste often 🙂  Quantities?  Well, maybe 3-4 cups fresh or frozen apricots, 1/4 cup water, and 1/4 cup brandy.  Cook until thick, set aside.

For the cupcakes, I used a double quantity of Shirley’s pound cake, recipe here.  It really is the perfect building block for this!  Bake it in cupcake tins.

Once done, let them cool off, and then cut them into thirds, like this:
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Take all the middle pieces, and mix them with the apricot jam until you have a consistency of cake pops, so, not too smushed up, still having some texture, but very very moist.  Add some brandy according to your taste buds, and add some chopped up walnuts, or hazelnuts.

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Punschkrapfen filling

Now, take some of the filling, and put it nicely on the bottom layer of the cupcake.  Be generous with the filling, make it at least 1 1/2 – 2 inches tall, then put the top on.  Repeat with all the cupcakes.  You may need to change the cupcake paper holders, to make it all look nice.

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Then, the frosting is the easy part.  If you are squeamish about regular powdered sugar and food coloring, feel free to use any substitute you can think of.  Please let me know too – would love to try!

Mix gluten-free powdered sugar with a small amount of brandy (or just water) and tiny amount of red food coloring, just enough to make it look bright pink.  Mix enough to get out any lumps, and then pour over the assembled Krapfen.

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Don’t you just want to grab one and bite into it?

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To make everyone happy, I covered some of these cupcakes in chocolate.  Completely untraditional, but still very good, and a concession to those that can’t do without.

And here you have it!

Dr. Tae Yun Kim says that of course we cannot go back in time and re-live even so much as a minute, but we sure can go back in our memories and re-create things that made us happy!

Note: all the food styling was done by my dear friend and fellow Jung Suwon warrior, Master Holly Chamberlain!

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2013-07-26 red bean ice cake

When Dr. Tae Yun Kim was just a little girl, they didn’t have any ice cream in Korea.  They didn’t have electricity, or ice cream makers, or even the concept of any food that wasn’t meant to simply nourish.  Sweets?  Ice cream?  No way.  Just things to keep you alive and reasonably well, especially during and after the Korean War.

With the American Soldiers – to whom Dr. Tae Yun Kim is forever grateful for saving her and her family’s lives, came some things she had never heard of before, such as chocolate, coffee, candy, ice cream, among many other things.

And while she could never even dream of having any of those goodies – she was barely allowed to survive on whatever little food she could scrape and scratch together – she always wondered what they would taste like.  For example, once in a while an ice cream vendor would come through her village, in the summer, peddling his wares, yelling out, “Ice cakes, ice cakes….”

It was only much later in her life that she finally could taste these simple treasures, and enjoy them.  Here is how I have learned to make this ice cream, healthy dairy free, gluten-free version.

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First, soak your red Azuki beans.  Soak them in a LOT of water.  They are big guzzlers, so go overboard with the water, and soak them for at least a day.

Boil the soaked beans and you will need to make enough to have 2 cups of boiled beans.

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This is what the red beans look like after boiling

It’s ok if you end up overcooking the beans, because most of them will end up in your blender.  Let the beans cool off.

Now, put a can of full fat coconut milk (or use any other milk you like) in your blender.

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add 2 cups of cooked beans and keep the leftover beans handy.

Add anywhere between 3/4 cups – 1 1/2 cups of honey.  Traditionally, this isn’t very sweet, so I normally use less than a cup.  But if you prefer it sweeter, use the full amount.  Here is my current favorite honey:

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I love how it says “made by American bees!”

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This is the inside of my blender, with all the ingredients in place

Set your blender on either Ice cream, or smoothie setting, and process until it’s all nice and smooth.

Put it all into your prepared ice cream maker, and let it go!

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Doesn’t it look cool how the ice cream maker swirls around the future ice cream?
When the ice cream is almost done, add the rest of the cooked, cooled, whole beans, up to 1 cup, but you can add as few as you want.

Then, either put the ice cream into popsicle molds (which is the traditional way to serve this) or put it into a container and store in freezer.  My popsicle didn’t look good enough to take pictures of, although they tasted awesome!

Either way, it is a most delicious and healthy way to enjoy a cool treat on a hot summer’s day!

If the ice cream isn't sweet enough for you, drizzle with honey....

If the ice cream isn’t sweet enough for you, drizzle with honey….

“You have the power to fulfill your dreams!”

Note: Shirley over at GFE gets the credit for me attempting to convert the original recipe – so surprise my teacher with this new concoction.  Thanks for your ice cream recipes!

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…When the dog bites, when the bee stings….who hasn’t had days like that?  Days when you just need a little something to eat, something that soothes you, and makes you feel happy inside and out, and that makes you forget whatever troubles, worries or bad things you have gone or are still going through.

My Martial Arts teacher, Dr. Tae Yun Kim, has this to say about those times:

“Rejoice in the lesson of pain and hurt, it gives you strength, it gives you freedom!”

And why not have some food to help with the rejoicing?

Strangely enough, in the winter, this can be a nice bowl of home-made chicken soup.  But in the hot summer, what to do?  Real comfort food, when I myself need comfort, needs to be fast, easy and have that taste that spells home-made, and makes you feel the world is ok.

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When nobody is around, I like to resort to a mug cake, or mug cookie or mug anything – they are so quick and easy and one-portion goodness.  But when family is around, I like to make something that everyone can enjoy.

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So, I make some concessions.  While I could easily make Shirley’s perfect pound cake over and over (and over and over) again – it is that good – I realize that this will not work for everyone.  But, I just discovered her Blueberry Banana Buckle (recipe here) and it surely hit the spot.  It’s summer comfort food to the max.  Check it out!

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This time, I did something new:  didn’t add anything, didn’t change anything – but I left out the topping!  My recently cast-less foot was starting to hurt and so I just figured this cake will be just as good without – and it was!

Enterprising family members informed me that it was the perfect “underneath” for ice cream as well 😉

And because I just love this part of one of Dr. Tae Yun Kim‘s motivational books, I thought I would share it with you:

“You are complete, peaceful, and fulfilled.

Being complete does not mean we have nothing more to learn, do, be, or become.  Being complete means we have the potential to accomplish anything that is naturally a part of the universe.” (The First Element, page 88)

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Dr. Tae Yun Kim, has been encouraging all her students to eat organically, eat good foods, balanced diet.  Part of that is eating mostly whatever is in season!

It is definitely berry season here in Northern California, and right at the moment, black berries are prime time!  They are delicious right as they are, but if your family got a ton of them – what’s the best option?  For us, that would be pie!

Now, I had in mind, to show you each step how I make the pie, but somehow the pie ended up in the oven and had completely forgotten to take pictures.  Sigh.  Maybe I needed to make another pie?

As so often happens, a quote right out of Dr. Tae Yun Kim‘s book “Seven Steps to Inner Power” came to mind:

“The key to creating harmony in all your life is to live only in the present moment.  Do you do that?  don’t be surprised if you find that an examination of your thought habits reveals that you never or hardly ever live in the present moment.  When it is now, how often are you mentally somewhere else, thinking or worrying about what just happened or what’s going to happen?  Is your mental video recorder constantly playing pictures of the past and concerns for the future?  If so, you are giving up your creative power in the present moment.” (Seven Steps to Inner Power, page 53,54)

Yes, guilty as charged!  As I was putting together the pie, my mind was elsewhere, and it was obvious.  I was far away from the present moment, and I forgot to take pictures of what I was making.  Luckily, I did measure out everything right, and the pie was smashing success!

Normally, I use this pie crust recipe from Shirley.  It is very simple, and easy, and most importantly, it tastes like pie crust is meant to taste – good!  Not some cardboard imitations of a pie crust!  Some pies, I love crustless.  But some pies must have a good, old-fashioned crust, and this is one of them.

For the filling, I do a standard 5-6 cups of blackberries mixed with a little cinnamon and approximately 3 -4 TSP of either arrowroot, or tapioca starch, or corn starch if I don’t have anything else.  I use coconut sugar to taste, it depends on how sweet the berries are.  I have also found that honey works very well!

Sometimes I mix in cinnamon, sometimes vanilla, sometimes even almond extract.  Once in a while I sprinkle some lemon juice – I don’t really measure too much for the filling other than perhaps the amount of starch.  Oh, confession time – sometimes I let the berries soak in some brandy – also very very good!

As you can see from the pictures, this time I did something I normally don’t do – I used a ready-made gluten-free pie crust. This came from Whole Foods Store. I had just gotten my cast removed and can move now, but at the same time – this moving is also a lot more painful – therefore the shortcut on the crust.

For the topping, I used this recipe  – delicious and gluten free!

So, here is the finished beauty – I did not forget to take pictures of the baked pie!

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Additional note:  This pie was made with all gluten free ingredients.  The oatmeal/oat flour was certified gluten free, and the rest of the items were naturally gluten free.

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A few years ago Dr. Tae Yun Kim went to Jeju island, Korea.  I got to come with her, as videographer.  All was well, except it was extremely hot.  Hot and humid, as in, over 100 degrees, and about 80+ humidity.  Dr.  Kim was cool as a cucumber, in her black, knit St. Johns pantsuit, not even breaking a sweat, while the rest of us were moaning and groaning and sweating like crazy.

Add to that the fact that most Koreans do not like air conditioning, so the rooms and lecture halls that she was giving speeches in, had no A/C, and the fan, if there was one, operated at a speed slower than snails.

Your thoughts create your reality!  This is one of Dr. Tae Yun Kim‘s signature sayings.  She also said that if you focus on the heat, you will feel the heat a lot more.  If you focus on being cool, the heat will not get to you.

Dr.  Tae Yun Kim also says that “The first step in taking charge of your life is to learn to take charge of your thinking.  The difference between a limited you and an unlimited you begins with your attitude and state of mind.” (Seven steps to Inner Power, page 17)

So, in furnace like weather like today – mid 90s – I thought about that a lot.  And among other things, ice cream came to mind!

Armed with a recipe for ice cream from Shirley (You can find it here) I got our new blender ready – love this totally insanely great machine!  No, they don’t pay me for writing this and they don’t even know I exist, but here is the beauty:

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Look at all these helpful buttons!  I have used almost all them and this is really great machine!

I put all ingredients into the blender, and had some fun.

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I even went outside to get some roses for the ice cream bowls.

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From my taste tests during the preparation, I knew I had a winner!  It was completely wonderful!

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So, when it’s hot out there – do yourself a favor – make this ice cream and chill!

New note to this blog: this is indeed the best ice cream ever!  It was just declared such by a 16-year old ice cream afficionado/connoisseur…

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