Little Cooking Saint – 0112 – Coconut Osmanthus Cake (c)

Little Cooking Saint – 0112 – Coconut Osmanthus Cake (c)

Chapter 112 Coconut Osmanthus Cake (c)

Translated by Gumihou

Edited by Gumihou

 

While she was pondering over all the various cards in her hand, Shiyu unconsciously stopped Xuan Yin from leaving when the girl turned away after receiving the bottle of medicine.

Just why did Wen Heng destroy Leisurely Cloud Sect? Isn’t it because they mistreated his beloved Xuan Yin? 

There is up to 10,000 people in a sect. Aside from the people in the upper levels, nearly everyone in the lower level would suffer some sort of bullying or discrimination. As long as there are people, there will be conflict. However, Xuan Yin was particularly unlucky and attracted more than her fair share of wretchedness.

Original Goods!Xuan Yin knocked her head against the stone floor when she was pushed down by fellow sect members and died, which allowed Transmigrated!Xuan Yin to take over her body. Later, thanks to her alluring looks and entrapment by others, she was ostracized by fellow female sect members. Later still, when they found her practising the Charming Arts Cultivation, she was severely beaten and kicked out of the sect.

Little by little, stake after stake of misfortune eventually drove this child to bitterness. With her low Cultivation base, there was no way to avoid bullying. When Wen Heng learned about her unfortunate past, how could he not avenge her?

But now, after learning that Grandpa Yun and Grandpa Feng were martial brothers, how could Shiyu not do anything? Now that she realised what was going to happen to this place in the future, how could she bear to just let this future unfold? Isn’t it too inhuman?

After turning the matter over and over in her head, she concluded that it was all down to their treatment of Xuan Yin. As long as Xuan Yin was well treated at Leisurely Cloud Sect, surely this future tragedy could be avoided?

This was why she had stopped Xuan Yin.

“I see that you have quite a lot of injury. If your body is left to heal on its own, you will have to delay your Cultivation, right? How about this? I have more medicine in my place. So, why don’t you come with me?” Well, truthfully she did not have any medicine, but Qing Chen has them! It’s fine to squeeze him for a bit, right? This is for the future of his Sect after all.

Xuan Yin hesitated. They were basically strangers. If it’s just pity, handing out a jade bottle of medicine was good enough. To suddenly be invited over to their place… There was no way she could not be wary against such excessive kindness.

Seeing Xuan Yin hesitate for a long time, Shiyu started to panic. She quickly flashed a signal at Qing Chen with her eyes for assistance. Though Qing Chen had no idea what this guest of his was up to, he played along anyway. Though he did not show it, he too was not comfortable with the number of injuries on Xuan Yin. “Junior Martial Sister Xuan Yin, after fetching the medicine, you may go back.”

This time, Xuan Yin agreed without hesitation.

Shiyu was a little depressed. Both of them had expressed the same offer, but why was their treatment so different? Was it because one was a male lead while the other was just a mob character?

Never mind, at least between the two of them, they managed to convince Xuan Yin to come back to Qing Chen’s residence. Qing Chen conscientiously brought out medicine for Xuan Yin. However, after coaxing the Female Lead over with such trouble, there was no way Shiyu was just going to let such an important person go just like that, right? Once the medicine was handed over, Shiyu beamed like a benevolent mother-in-law, “Xuan Yin, since you’re already here, why don’t you stay for dinner? I’ll make something good for you. It’s decided, you can’t just leave now, ah!”

Got to give these main characters more time to interact and develop feelings, ah!

Shiyu quickly scuttled away, not quite daring to see just what kind of expression Qing Chen was making. She was afraid that if she hesitated even a bit, Qing Chen would slice her to bits with his eye power.

Though there was no kitchen in Qing Chen’s residence, Shiyu has all the necessary cooking tools and ingredients in her space ring. This included the stove that she normally uses for her stall cooking.

Qing Chen preferred lighter food, but who knows what kind of food Xuan Yin likes? As she pawed through the ingredients in her space, Shiyu suddenly remembered the Plum Blossom forest. Perhaps she could collect some snow off the Plum Blossoms?

As soon as the thought occurred to her, she flew out of the house towards the forest. However, before she had taken more than a few steps, a different scent lured her away. It was the sweet fragrance of Osmanthus flowers. The temperature lower down the mountain was not as cold as the peaks and were still in the midst of autumn. As the thought of Osmanthus flowers, Shiyu rushed down as quickly as she could.

The scent of Osmanthus flowers is cold, sweet and unique. Unlike the heavy fragrance of lilies or roses, Osmanthus flowers have a cool and elegant perfume to them that made them perfect for making tea or cakes. It’s no exaggeration to say that the soothing fragrance of these flowers could touch a person’s heart.

Moreover, because Leisurely Cloud Sect was far away from the mundane world, the flowers were not stained by dust or grime. The trees were also nourished by mountain mists and the essence of the sun and moon. Therefore, these high-quality flowers were made even more precious. Shiyu collected a small basket of flowers for dinner. She also transplanted a few small Osmanthus saplings into her space. Might as well restart her garden/farm while she’s at it.

She returned by way of the Plum Blossom forest, collecting a jar of snow dusted from plum blossoms before happily returning to the residence. When Shiyu flew into the residence with her loot, she was greeted by Qing Chen’s blank face and Xuan Yin’s expressionless face.

Heh, look at these pair. Even their faces were similar.

However, she managed to keep her thoughts to herself and said, “You two are sure lucky tonight. I’ve managed to collect some Plum Blossom snow and some late autumn Osmanthus flowers. I guarantee you’ll not be able to put down your chopsticks!”

She pretended not to see Qing Chen reaching out to catch her and slipped past him to set up her workstation in his yard.

While she busied herself, she heard Qing Chen sighed and walk away, presumably to station himself in the living room, away from troublesome things. As for Xuan Yin, she dithered for a little while, her eyes alternating between Qing Chen’s retreating back and Shiyu’s slightly incomprehensible action. She decided to edge closer to see what Shiyu was doing.

Shiyu decided to make one main dish and one dessert.

First, she took out some flour and pour some of the melted snow into it together with a little salt and began to knead. The noodles she planned to make were the simplest type, served in a vegetarian broth. To make good noodles, she had to knead the flour by hand until it’s smooth and elastic. This is the best way to make tasty and elastic noodles with the least ingredients [1].

Once the dough was properly kneaded, it was set aside to [2] rest and she turned her attention on the dessert.

Similar to the noodles, the dessert was going to be simple.

While she was on the ship, Shiyu had squirrelled away a few coconuts from the ship’s pantry [3] to bring home for her little family to try. However, she was willing to sacrifice one for a higher cause. The edible parts of the coconut included the coconut water and coconut flesh, which she split into two bowls. To make the dessert, [4] she first stirred some glutinous rice flour with coconut water into a paste, adding the freshly picked osmanthus flowers into the mixture bit by bit.

She added honey as a final ingredient and stirred until the batter turned viscous. The batter is considered done when she could pull long, thin ropes of it out with her chopsticks. [4] To accelerate the cooking process, she decided to cook a thinner version of this recipe. She got out a large, round tray and oiled it. She poured the batter in until it’s about 2 cm deep. Any deeper and she’d have to cook it for over 2 hours. By the time she set this sweet, Osmanthus scented batter onto the steamer, [2] the dough was ready for the second kneading.

[5] Shiyu used a rolling pin to roll out the noodles into a thin sheet and cut it into strands. Though she’s a professional chef, it’s rare for her to handle raw noodles, therefore she always went with the easiest, error-free recipe. With her knife skills, she could make fine, evenly cut noodles without much trouble.

[5] Once the noodles were cut and dusted with flour, Shiyu set them aside and to check on her seaweed stock. It’s actually more troublesome to make delicious vegetarian noodles, but luckily she has some seaweed in hand which she had, ahem, borrowed from the ship’s galley. She tasted the broth, it was a little briny, so she added some roasted mushrooms and a little vinegar to balance out the flavour.

[5] She also set the remaining precious jar of Plum Blossom snow beside the stove to warm it. Meanwhile, the pot of water has boiled. It was time to blanch the noodles. With quick, sharp movements, Shiyu scattered a handful of noodles into the boiling water, blanched it for a couple of minutes before scooping it out quickly and dropping it into very cold water. This was then followed by a very quick shake to get the water out and dropping it into a bowl.

[5] She repeated this a couple more times.

As Shiyu continued to cook [6], the fragrance of cooking rose around her. The savoury scent of vegetable stock and sweet fragrance of osmanthus and honey perfumed the air.

Xuan Yin had settled down behind Shiyu as she watched the girl busied herself around the stove. As the sun continued to set, it cast its yellow rays across the residence. From her vantage point, it looked as though Shiyu’s entire body was suffused with a warm radiant glow. A trace of longing and nostalgia clogged her throat.

A long time ago, how long has it been? [7] Someone had once cooked a meal for her. Just for her. However, that all happened before the terrible sickness broke out. At first, someone thought it was a prank, however, the cruel hammer of reality soon slammed into their lives. First, she lost her home, then her precious friends and family. The person who had once cooked for her succumbed to the virus and was gone also. There was never enough to eat and she was always running. Running away, running for her life, running and running.

[7] In the end, no matter how well the food was rationed, it soon ran out. People ended up eating people. First, the children were eaten, then the women. She could escape the mindless clutches of the zombies but fell to the hands of former comrades with guns…

[7] Death heralded itself with a ‘Boom!’

While she lay dying, her only thought was how nice it would be to eat until her stomach is full. It has been 10 years since the outbreak, instead of thinking of her fallen friends and loved ones, all she could think of was food.

Thankfully, this new world that she transmigrated to has plenty of food. She ate bark and wild fruits, there were even wild rabbits and snakes to eat. However, none of them smelt quite like what this girl was making now.

She was hungry. So, very, very hungry. She wanted to grab the pot and swallow everything into her stomach. She wanted to stuff her mouth until her cheeks bulged out…

A chill ran up Shiyu’s spine and she instinctively looked around. She nearly dropped her spoon when she saw Xuan Yin’s wild and hungry eyes glaring straight at the pot of noodle. There was something oddly beast-like in those half-starved eyes, as though she was on the verge of losing control over herself…

 

[Gumihou: … I think Shiyu pulled this Coconut Osmanthus Cake recipe out of her ass, you know, the same place she keeps her butter. Also, her noodle boiling technique is…suspect]

 

[1] Kneading to make tasty noodles – To make noodles tasty and elastic, the easiest way is to add an egg. Reduce the water and stir in an egg. This will make the noodles closer to pasta and give you a bigger margin of error. Otherwise, without a noodle maker or dough hook machine, you will have to knead the dough until the gluten is stretched out. We also have no idea what kind of flour Shiyu is using. High protein bread flour is the best for chewy noodles.

https://thewoksoflife.com/chinese-handmade-noodles/

[2] Change Details for Correctness: Original ‘set aside to rise’. Er, you don’t set noodle dough to rise, you ‘set it aside to rest’ and form gluten strands. There is no yeast for rising.

[3] Additional Details for Logistic Purpose: There’s no indication whether these coconuts were plucked, bought or stolen. So, Shiyu became one of those chefs who ‘appropriated’ ingredients from the kitchen for personal use.

[4] Rant 1 – Improbable recipes: 

Gumihou has crossed reference Glutinous Rice Cakes, Coconut Osmanthus Cake, Osmanthus Cake, Coconut Cake and Baked Coconut Sticky Rice Cake and there is nothing, I repeat NOTHING, that fits into Shiyu’s recipe. Absolutely NO ONE uses coconut water for cooking.

Coconut Osmanthus Cake https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBubcjttxLc

Osmanthus Cake https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9PNZ_pZeIk

Baked Coconut Sticky Rice Cake https://en.christinesrecipes.com/2009/01/chinese-new-year-coconut-pudding.html

Steamed Rice Cake https://mykitchen101en.com/classic-chinese-steamed-rice-cake-done-the-right-way/

Sticky Glutinous Rice Pudding https://figur8site.wordpress.com/2015/02/27/chinese-new-year-food-bee-koh-sticky-glutinous-rice-pudding/

I mean, can’t you weibo 椰汁桂花糕 and watch just ONE video?

If you google 椰汁桂花糕 it’s all jelly cakes. Also, rather than coconut water, it’s made with Coconut milk. Coconut water, contrary to popular belief, does not actually contain the signature ‘coconut’ taste. The flavour comes from the coconut flesh. You get coconut milk by grinding down the flesh of old coconuts (Young coconuts are delicious raw, but for a more concentrated coconut flavour, you want old coconuts) and squeezing the white milky liquid out. Hence, coconut ‘milk’.

The closest thing steamed glutinous rice flour with honey resulted in Nian Gao, which is traditionally made with sugar, water and rice flour and steamed for 2 to 3 hours. I’ll just pretend Shiyu has a hole in her memory and mixed up the name for Nian Gao cakes and Coconut Osmanthus Cake. Never mind that one is a sticky mochi cake and the other a jelly.

Here’s a Nian Gao recipe – https://whattocooktoday.com/nian-gao.html

[5] Rant 2: “Since Qing Chen prefers lighter taste, Shiyu did not add any oil to the remaining Plum Blossom snow water. Once the water boiled, she boiled all the noodles

How big is your jar, Shiyu? Do you know how much water is needed to boil raw noodles? Unlike making instant noodles where you only need one cup of hot/boiling water to make a cup noodle. You’ll need 3 to 4 cups of water to boil 1 cup worth of raw noodles.

Otherwise, enjoy your sticky lump of boiled dough. Also, she glossed over the noodle-making process. It’s all: make dough > let’s boil noodles! > Serve

Where your broth?! Where your vegetable stock?! Plain water is not vegetarian, it’s stinginess!

Shiyu should have boiled the noodles in a separate pot, put it through a cold bath (because a cold bath preserves the chewiness of noodles, very important if you omit egg or alkaline water from your noodles) and then serve her Plum Blossom noodles with some pickled vegetables and vegetable broth augmented with the precious, less than 1 jar, Plum Blossom Snow water.

It’s a bullshit recipe, but at least make it believable, please?

Please see how people actually cook noodle – The topping, soup is done separately. For Shiyu to throw raw noodle into a delicate water gathered from Plum Blossom is… a travesty.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2kesmAO8VU

Amateur hand-pulled noodles

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWer9hR3OSE

[6] Originally ‘As the heat in the pot rose’, but she’s already boiling things, so changed to ‘as she cooked’.

[7] Added Details for Dramatic Purpose: Since this is Xuan Yin’s backstory filled with zombies therefore some ornamentation should be expected.

 

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Fiction Addiction

    Where did you learn cooking Gumihous san? do you accept students?

    1. Gumihou

      Gumihou loves cooking and makes a hobby of collecting cooking techniques. Gumihou surpasses her mother at age 15 and never looked back, lol

      Please feel free to direct any cooking question to Gumihou at discord anytime under recipe-chats-here.

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