DIY Nerdy Bento Baran + Tutorial

I bought some silicone keyboard covers a few weeks back for this project but completely forgot/ have been too busy to start the project.

So today I sat down and made some geeky baran, and I even made a tutorial video that I will include below 🙂

The silicone keyboard covers were about £1.50 each. I bought 1 black and 1 green.

After about ten minutes I had turned said keyboard covers into the coolest little baran! Et voila!

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I can’t wait to use them in a bento! 🙂

Anyway here is the tutorial video:

(Sorry for my voice, I have a really sore throat >.< )

For more DIY Baran click here 🙂

* make sure any silicone you will be using with food is good safe!

Vanilla Roll cake

After watching this video by Ochikeron I have been dying to make some roll cakes based on Baumkuchen.

You can click through here to watch the tutorial video.

Here are mine:

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You may notice mine are smaller than Ochikeron’s and that’s because I don’t have a regular tamagoyaki pan but a pan split into three.

Using the same measurements I managed to get 6 smaller cakes ( one is big enough for one portion ) instead of one big large one.

I added a little butter cream in the middle and on top to make sure the cakes weren’t too dry.

I have to say they’re pretty dang tasty if a little sickly.

Keep Calm and Carry Bento!

No bento today. Sorry!

But I did recreate a little bit of art.

Et voila,

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I’m sure everyone has seen one form or another of the “Keep calm and carry on” posters that were originally printed during the Second World War to remind all is Brits to keep a stuff upper lip.

Here is my ideal poster, and now I really want this in my kitchen!!!

DIY Anko and Dorayaki Recipes

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Yesterday I posted about some homemade Dorayaki and I promised I’d post the recipe so here it is 🙂

Anko

What you will need:

•Azuki Beans
•Sugar
•Water

What to do

1. Measure out your azuki beans ( I used 150 grams and ended up with a lot of anko! )

2. Measure out the same weight in sugar ( I used icing sugar, for no reason other than i had boxes of icing sugar that need using. It didn’t impact the taste or texture of the anko.)

3. Soak your azuki beans over night in three times their volume of water.

4. After 24 hours fill a saucepan with the azuki beans and enough water to cover them, bring to the boil.

5. Once the water is boiling, drain the azuki beans and rinse with cold water. Repeat again. This removes the bitter taste.

6. Now place beans back in the pan, put on lid and cover with just enough water to cover beans, cook on a gentle simmer for about an hour or until the beans can be easily crushed with your fingers. (Don’t burn yourself!)

7. Drain the beans.

8. If you want smooth, jam like anko now is the time to add the beans to a blender. Slowly add water to the beans in the blender until you have a slightly watery paste ( it will thicken up after the next few stages.) If you don’t want jam like anko jump to the next step.

9. Add the paste/beans back to the pan, put on a low heat and add your sugar one third at a time while continually mixing.

10. You will eventually end up with a sweet paste that can be stored in the fridge for about 2/3 days or frozen in portions.

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Anko goes great in Dorayaki, ice cream and most other deserts 🙂

Dorayaki pancakes

What you will need:

• 1 cup Cake flour ( I used self raising because that’s all I had and the pancakes ended up being a little too thick.)

• 2/3 cup of sugar.

• 3 tablespoons water.

• 2 large / 3 medium eggs.

• 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder ( leave out if you use self raisin flour.)

• Vegetable oil for frying.

• Frying pan or griddle.

What to do:

1. Put the eggs into a mixing bowl and give a quick mix to blend the yolk and whites.

2. Add the sugar slowly while stirring to incorporate into the eggs.

3. If using baking soda mix into water and add to the egg mixture.

4. Sift flour into egg mixture and mix til there are no lumps. ( Be careful not to overmix! )

5. Cover bowl with clingfilm and leave in the fridge for half an hour.

6. After half an hour, heat up your pan ( or griddle), add a small amount of oil and using kitchen tongs and a paper towel spread the oil and remove excess.

7. Add mixture to the pan as you would normal pancakes until your desires width is achieved. ( Dorayaki pancakes are normally 4/5 inches in diameter.)

8. When small bubbles appear in the batter flip over. Once both sides are evenly browned put onto a plate and continue until all of the batter is used.

9. Take a pancake and place a teaspoon ( or more if you’re adventurous) of anko in the centre. Place another pancake on top and press the edges together to seal.

Tada Dorayaki!!

Here are my CuteZCute Dorayaki 🙂

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DIY CuteZCute Dorayaki and Review

As some of you will know, tesco started selling Dorayaki. As it was a new product ( and not well known to most Brits) it started at a half price of 75p, but now it has gone up to £1.50 for one!!

I may be addicted to them but I refuse to pay that much for one.

So I decided to make my own, but I didn’t want the standard round Dorayaki. I wanted cute Dorayaki, and what better way to make things cute than with the CuteZCute bento cutter ( it’s so good at making things cute it even has the word twice in its name!!!).

Here are my Dorayaki ( check back tomorrow for the “recipe” )

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Cute right?!

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Here’s one in half to show the anko, apparently blending the anko makes it purple :/ .

Onto the review!

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This is one of my favourite bento tools. What makes the CuteZCute a winner in my eyes is how easy it is to use! There is no need to get up hours earlier to plan, it takes only a minute or two to prepare the sandwich and cut it. The CuteZCute also negates the need for tweezers as there is no fiddly bits of nori to try and piece together.

If you want a tool that makes bento-ing easy and fast while still having choice, the set includes the panda, frog, cat and pig cutter which also act as stamps, I would highly recommend the CuteZCute.

Cost: 5/5

Available on Amazon for just under $10 ( just over £6) this has to be one of the best investments if you make bento, bake cookies or love making your children’s food fun.

For just over £6 you get one “shape” cutter, four face cutters and a tool to remote the cut outs. That’s a lot of bento goodies for little money!
( If you buy cake decorating tools you’ll know how cheap this. But by no means is it cheaply made!)

Size: 5/5

This set is perfectly sized for cookies, bento and anything else your imagination can come up with!
It will fit snugly in most places and comes in it’s own little box that can be used to keep it neat and tidy.

Ease Of Use: 5/5

All that I can say to this is ” Are cookie cutters hard to use?” If you can use cookie cutters you can use this! ( although the CuteZCute will provide substantially better cookies 😀 )

Style: 5/5

With four “face” cutters this cutter should be able to please most people. The cutter includes a pig, cat, frog and a panda face. But the possibilities don’t end there, I’ve seen people create all sorts including cute octopuses!

Pros:
• Extremely affordable but not cheaply made.
• Four face cutters.
• Easy to use.
• Very versatile.
• BEST TOOL EVER!!!!

Cons:
• Not really a con but it would be awesome if more face cutters could be made 🙂

Disclaimer
I received the product to review but no cash was exchanged, my review is my honest opinion and has not been swayed by the company or anyone else.

CuteZCute eggless cookies!

Today I really wanted to bake but we had no eggs and I didn’t want to go out in the snow, or I should say I didn’t want to go out because the streets are like an ice rink!

So I searched for a recipe on cookies that doesn’t include eggs and I found one here.

I have collected a lot of cookie cutters due to my bento hobby ( I believe hobby is pronounced something like ob-sess-ion ) but it came down to using my CuteZCute because, quite frankly, it’s my favourite 🙂

Here is the finished results:

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Sadly one of the frogs didn’t survive the cooking process and his features disappeared, my fault not the CuteZCute 🙂

Oh!Bento uses a CuteZCute

This post, though not a bento lunch, does show the result of my first day using the amazing CuteZCute.

First off in the morning I had a panda jam sandwich:

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Literally the cutest sandwich ever!!

Then for tea I had two (it looks like four but that’s only because I printed each side ) “student” cheese toasties:

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This is now one of my favourite bento tools. What makes the CuteZCute a winner in my eyes is how easy it is to use! There is no need to get up hours earlier to plan, it takes only a minute or two to prepare the sandwich and cut it. The CuteZCute also negates the need for tweezers as there is no fiddly bits of nori to try and piece together.

If you want a tool that makes bento-ing easy and fast while still having choice, the set includes the panda, frog, cat and pig cutter which also act as stamps, I would highly recommend the CuteZCute.