Strawberry Lemon Verbena Chia Seed Jam

Adapted from Marisa of Uproot Kitchen.

I started making morning oats earlier this year after watching a video tutorial by the Sweet Potato Chronicles for easy breakfast recipes on Skillshare. It is an extremely easy, time-saving way of getting yourself to eat a full-hearty breakfast every morning. But after about a month of consistently making this oats, I got tired of eating it every day. Yes, I know it is good for myself, but I need some flavors in my life!

So, as I was flipping through Instagram, I saw that Marisa from Uproot Kitchen had posted a recipe for Chia Seed Jam (I definitely recommend you to check her blog out if you also are a food and gardening enthusiast). This was a totally new concept to me. But a jam that is ready within half an hour without all the water bathing and processing? I’m sold! I made her blueberry jam recipe and it turned out very well. It’s simple and delicious!

As you already know though, I get bored of the same thing easily. So, I immediately started thinking of ways to reinvigorate this jam. I rummaged through our refrigerator to see what fruits I had and found a box of strawberries. But just strawberries sound boring. I know I had wanted to try a lemon verbena infusion because I had a big unused pot of it growing in my backyard with plenty of sprigs. So, I decided to try the infusion in this jam. End result? It was good. It was very reminiscent of a strawberry lemonade taste with the citrus taste from the leaves but without the acidity. Try this out or try it with different ingredients with your own twist!

INGREDIENTS
1 pint of strawberries
1-2 sprigs of lemon verbena
2 tbsp of maple syrup
1 1/2 tbsp of chia seeds
Preparation
Slice and chop the strawberries into small chunks.
Place the strawberries and maple syrup into a pot and heat over medium-low heat. Keep an eye on the strawberries and stir to prevent it from burning.
As the strawberries begins to soften, tear the lemon verbena leaves a bit to release its flavor and add to the pot.
Stir until the strawberries has broken down into syrup like (about 5 minutes). Break down chunks with your spoon.
Remove and discard the lemon verbena leaves. Add the chia seeds and stir until thickens to jam-like consistency.
Remove from heat and refrigerate overnight. Eat within a week.

吃飯了,

Henry

3 Ingredient Japanese Cheesecake by DeliciousMartha

Commentary on original post from Delicious Martha blog. Follow her for other great recipes and videos.

My mom has been bugging me to teach her how to make a Japanese cheesecake. But the problem is, I have never made one. So, when Delicious Martha suddenly posted a video tutorial titled “Cheesecake con tres ingredientes, la moda Japonais”, I was so happy! I love Delicious Martha blog not only for her food porn photography, but also for her lovely video recipe tutorials. All of her recipes on her blog are posted in Spanish, but her videos are great in demonstrating each step of the recipe that you wouldn’t even need to know Spanish in order to follow through (albeit, the ingredients are in English on the videos)!

This cheesecake is a Japanese-style cheesecake in which it is airy, soft and fluffy compared to the traditional American cheesecake. It is also not as rich which I think well-suits Asian taste buds and why my mom prefers eating this over the typical cheesecakes. This recipe is super simple in terms of ingredients. Only the white chocolate took me by surprise as I would’ve never thought of using it as one of the basis of the cheesecake. It adds a bit of a silky richness to the cake overall.

What I most like about this recipe is that even though it is simple, it places a lot of emphasis on techniques. What do I mean about that? I’m talking about the process of whipping egg yolks and egg whites separately and the melting of the chocolate.

For the egg whites, you really need to whip it until it is fluffy white and doubles in amount in order for your cheesecake to turn out with the same results. As for the chocolate, in the video, Marta melts the chocolate in the microwave in small intervals to prevent burning. However, my impatient self did not want to stand by the microwave, pressing 5-10 sec intervals and hoping the chocolate doesn’t burn. So I whipped out a pot of water and a bowl and created a double boiler (or “bain-marie” in French) to melt this chocolate. I find this technique easier and safer. The only caveat is that you just have to make sure you do not get any of the steam water to seep into the chocolate or else it’s ruined, but that’s very easily preventable with a wide high edged bowl!

Bain-Marie chocolate melt

If you do not have a mixer, this recipe is totally doable by hand! Trust me! You will just need to add extra elbow grease into it. When Dono and I took a cooking class in Florence, we made tiramisu by hand because that was our chef’s preferred method. Just imagine how much whipping went into that! All you need is a good sturdy balloon whisk and a tall mixing bowl and you’re good to go! I bought my whisk from the East Bay Restaurant Supply Store in Oakland, so I highly recommend you checking out your local restaurant supply store for a good, cheap sturdy one!

The end result of all that physical labor? A nice fluffy cheesecake that is as light as air! For the recipe, you definitely need to check out Delicious Martha’s video tutorial! However, if you need written procedures and cannot read Spanish, here’s some translations below:

Ingredients
100 grams Cream Cheese
100 grams White Chocolate, good quality
3 medium Eggs
Preparation
Preheat oven to 340°F. Line a round 8-inch mold with parchment paper and coat with butter. Place aside.
Place the chopped chocolate in a bowl and melt either in microwave or in a double boiler.
In another bowl, separate the egg whites. Mix the egg whites until fluffy and set aside.
Beat the cream cheese to soften it a little in another bowl. When it is less firm, add the chocolate while beating to obtain a homogenous mixture.
While beating, add the egg yolks and mix until it is completely mixed in. With a spatula, fold in the egg whites until mixed in. Careful not to mix too much.
Scoop batter into the mold. Put aluminum around the outside of the mold and place it inside a larger container in which you will fill it with water, creating a water bath for it to cook in.
Place in oven and bake for 15 mins. After 15 mins, lower temperature to 320°F and bake for another 15 mins.
After time has past, turn oven off and leave it in for 15 mins. After 15 mins, remove from oven and leave it on a wire rack to cool completely.

吃飯了,

Henry