#sushiweek: DIY sushi!

Today’s post will be about how to make your own onigiri (Japanese for rice ball) in a few easy steps! It’s very simple and fun and we made these in school for lunch.

Sprinkle a generous amount of Japanese seaweed seasoning
Sprinkle a generous amount of Japanese seaweed seasoning
  1. Cook 2 cups of Japanese sushi rice and leave it in the fridge overnight so that it’s cold and sticks better together.
  2. Sprinkle your favourite type of Japanese seaweed seasoning (you can buy it at most mega supermarkets). We recommend buying the seasoning that comes in resealable packaging as it’ll be easier to keep.
  3. Mix the seasoning well
  4. Scoop the rice into onigiri moulds which we got at DAISO for $2 each

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To prepare the ingredients in the moulds:
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It's a simple and fun way to enjoy food with your friends!
It’s a simple and fun way to enjoy food with your friends!
  1. Prepare the ingredients on a plate. We used canned tuna. (Edit: You can add other ingredients like egg mayo, bonito flakes, grilled salmon, or eat it plain! Almost anything goes well with onigiri.)
  2. Wet the inside of the onigiri mould so that the rice sticks to it. Fill half the mould with rice, add the ingredients and then top it with more rice.

Finally, push the flap to release the onigiri from the mould and wrap it with a strip of seaweed. We bought packs of seaweed snacks that came in strips from the supermarket and they fit perfectly around the rice balls!

Doesn't that look amazing?
Doesn’t that look amazing?

It was a wonderful way to destress from all the projects and IAs due in school that week. The best part was that we had fun together and the onigiri turned out to be very filling.

Oishi! 


– Nomster Ally

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#chocolateweek: Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Perfection comes in many forms. It is the irresistible fragrance emanating from within the oven that pervades the air – the distinct aroma of roasted macadamia, pecans and heavenly chocolate. It is the delectable sight of a cracked topmost surface, revealing a warm and soft interior. It is the dense, crumbly yet chewy texture that brings forth a decadent taste upon eating. It is the perfect blend of bitter and sweet infused with richness, inundating the taste buds with an incomparable and luscious taste.

Perfection is a double chocolate chunk cookie.

Look at that beauty.
Look at that beauty.
Mixing the mixture.

It was already past midnight when we hatched up the ingenious idea to bake these delectable treats. We here at Nomsters Club are big on not wasting food. Hence, we were obliged to use all our leftover melted butter from our previous baking session (refer to this post). The BEST decision ever. We here at Nomsters Club also love a super-soft and chewy cookie. Sinful, crumbly and heavenly: A concoction of pure bliss.

Completed and now onto the baking trays.
Divided onto the baking trays.
Divided onto the baking trays.

After surfing the web for a recipe to use we came across Martha Stewart’s ‘Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies’ recipe. It wasn’t until we completed mixing the ingredients that we realised the recipe yields about three dozen cookies. Well… three dozen cookies is certainly a large number that we didn’t end up baking. It was most likely due to the sheer size of these cookies; they were BIG. Scooping up a fairly large amount of batter using an ice-scream scooper, we only managed to bake under twenty cookies. Twenty LARGE cookies. As they say, quality over quantity. In this case, the quality being the size. Not only were the cookies larger, the amount of batter used attributed to creating a dense and chewy texture. The cookies were intended to be extremely soft, especially in the centre. They certainly didn’t disappoint. Taking a step further to elevate this recipe, we added cashews and macadamia nuts. Without realising it, we actually accidentally used double the amount of chocolate required. But a little more (a lot more) chocolate never hurts. The only thing it may be hurting are our expanding waistlines, but oh well. When something tastes this good, all health consciousness  is forgone.

Is there anything more delightful that a tasty and indulgent cookie? No, not really.

So try it out yourself with the following recipe. Depending on your preference just simply add any other fillings you want.

The beauties have arrived.

Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies (from Martha Stewart)

Yield: Makes about 3 dozen (it depends)

Ingredients: 

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

8 ounces good-quality milk chocolate, 4 ounces coarsely chopped, 4 ounces cut into 1/4-inch chunks

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Method:

Preheat oven to 160 degrees celsius.

Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Set side.

Melt the chocolate with the butter in a small heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water.

Transfer chocolate mixture into a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.

Add sugar, eggs, and vanilla and mix on medium speed until combined.

Reduce speed to low and gradually mix in flour mixture.

Fold in chocolate chunks. (And any other preferred additional fillings.)

Scoop batter using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Place them 2 inches apart. 

Bake until cookies are flat and surfaces begin to crack, about 15 minutes.

Transfer the cookies onto wire racks.

Let cool 5 minutes. (Hard, we know.)

Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. (They probably won’t last that long.)

A creation of pure bliss.
A creation of pure bliss.

– Nomsters Inés (Li Ting)

#chocolateweek: Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes

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Ermagad.

Gooey chocolatey flowing centres? yas.

Molten lava cakes is a signature, if not the best, chocolate cake to be worshiped. If you look through the history of all possible dessert permutations, you will find that most of them were created by chance. A slight mishap in the kitchen or what you may call “accidents” have brought about some of the most loved baked goods. People believe it was French Chef Vongeritchen who invented the cake, when he took a chocolate sponge cake out of the oven a little too early. However, some claim Molten Lava cakes have been bringing chocolate bliss to the french for a long time in history.

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Rich chocolate batter.
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Dividing the batter in muffin tins.
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Buttered and sugar-dusted muffin holes.

In honour of chocolate, that dark brown sweet rich divine stuff, one must bake Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes. Though it has a perplexing molten centre and contrastingly cooked sides, this cake is not (I repeat not) difficult to bake. A simple batter. No magic potions, no fancy tools, nothing mysterious.

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cute mini lava cakes mmmmm.

Usually molten lava cakes are baked in ramekins. No porcelain ramekins in your kitchen? No oven-proof dishes? Got a muffin pan? Good.

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I like how this recipe makes 6 small lava cakes. But I love how it makes use of a muffin pan. Muffin pans are life savers when it comes to baking in big batches, which was great for the nomsters cause feeding 8 hungry kiddos (who are bound to ask for second helpings) is somewhat challenging. For you, as glorious as lava cakes are, the experience is only memorable if you have friends or family to share it with. If you ever need a recipe for a large batch of molten chocolate cakes, this one is for you.

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Only complete with vanilla ice-cream.

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Our first nomsters baking session was definitely what I’d call a success. A super sweet chocolatey success. With minimal mishaps, except for a few egg-cracking tragedies, all was good. The hungry nomsters enjoyed their lava cakes right out of the oven, with the best vanilla ice cream from dreyers to compliment that bomb of a chocolate flavour.

A beautiful crack in the crust, with moist cakey sides, calling you to pry open that wet ooey gooey indentation in the centre. Not too runny or flowy, but the cake yielded an oozing chocolate sensation nonetheless.

This recipe is a foolproof, just for you.

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Molten Chocolate Cakes (from Martha Stewart
Makes 6 servings. Double the recipe for a large group.

Ingredients: 

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for muffin tins

1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus more for muffin tins

3 large eggs

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Vanilla Ice-cream, for serving (we highly recommend Dreyers)

Method:

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

Butter a 6-cup muffin tin. Dust with granulated sugar and tap out excess.

Melt chocolate over a double boiler. (Find out how to here)

Mix the flour and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

In a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and granulated sugar until fluffy.

Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition.

On low speed, beat in the flour and salt mixture until just combined. Do not overmix.

Beat in melted chocolate until just combined. Do not overmix.

Divide batter in prepared muffin tin. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the tops no longer jiggle when the pan is lightly shaken.

Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes.

Turn cakes out onto plates with a generous serving of cold vanilla ice cream yum yum.

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That crackled molten centre.

– Nomster Andrea

Cause we are Monsters when we Nom

Food is our common ground. A universal experience.

– James Beard

Brought to you by a group of ravenous teens, who lose themselves in the love of food. And in the process of savouring each bite.

We believe that there is something at the very core of our existence, that unifies us as one – humans full of passion, and nothing explains this more than food. Across cultures, cuisines, gender, race and religion, people love food. We have evolved from our cavemen days of merely needing food. We now want, crave, dream and create food. The same way chocolate has developed throughout the centuries, from a bitter cocoa seed grounded into a drink (think coffee) to a silky brown liquid that is moulded into solid gold-like bars, our food ruminations and degustations have unfolded into art.

So we have come to this. And in all youthful appreciation of food, we are not holding back. Join us while we explore the realms of all things edible. The history, artistry and chemistry behind our food.

It is time to unleash the inner beast in you. Join us monsters, as we nom our way through real food.