Ice cream flavored with a toasty tasting Japanese product.
When my husband heads to the store to buy ice cream, I just roll my eyes.
Because he always gets the same flavor, no matter what.
In a world of Chunky Monkey, Tin Roof, strawberry cheesecake, Vietnamese coffee and more, he reaches for vanilla. Every single time.
Oh, he’ll tell me that he might get something different this time.
But of course, he never does.
So I am left to my own devices — to make my own. And in my mind, the more distinctive, the better.
That’s why when “The Perfect Scoop” (Ten Speed Press) was revised and updated recently, I couldn’t wait to pore through my review copy. The original frozen desserts bible by food writer and popular blogger David Lebovitz, who worked at Chez Panisse for a dozen years, was published a decade ago — when I didn’t yet own an ice cream machine. This time around, I was ready. Boy, was I, to make something creamy smooth and unique.
These delicate Japanese cakes have a wonderfully nutty taste.
I’ve been intrigued by kinako ever since I first experienced its unique taste.
Take soybeans, roast them, then grind into a fine powder. What you get is this golden Japanese flour that has a roasty-toasty character with a whisper of sweetness. It tastes like a cross between chestnuts, barley tea and maple syrup.
You might blanch at eating flour right out of the bag. But with kinako, you can. In fact, it’s often used to garnish desserts, such as by sprinkling on shave ice or as a coating to roll mochi balls or chocolate truffles in. It also can be incorporated into the batter and dough of cakes, cookies, and another baked goods.
Find it on the shelves in small bags at Japanese markets, then give it a try in these cute little unfrosted cupcakes.
Roasted soy bean flour known as kinako.
“Kinako and Black Sesame Cupcakes” is from the new cookbook, “Cook Japanese At Home” (Kyle), of which I received a review copy. It’s by Kyoto-born Kimiko Barber, who teaches Japanese cooking and is the author of a handful of other Japanese cookbooks.