New Character Sweet of Lawson, Japan

Cinnamoroll Bun with Sweet White Bean Paste Filling

The price is 200 yen (tax included).

Sachertorte – A Traditional Vienna Dessert


8 oz plain dark chocolate, broken into squares
5 oz unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup caster sugar
8 eggs, separated
1 cup plain flour


1 cup apricot jam
1 tbsp lemon juice


8 oz plain dark chocolate, broken into squares
1 cup caster sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup
1 cup double cream
1 tsp vanilla essence
plain chocolate curls, to decorate


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Grease a 9-inch round springform cake tin and line with non-stick baking paper.
  2. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over hot water, then remove from the heat.
  3. Cream the butter with the sugar in a mixing bowl until pale and fluffy, then add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition.
  4. Beat in the melted chocolate, then sift the flour over the mixture and fold it in evenly.
  5. Whisk the egg whites in a clean, grease-free bowl until stiff, then stir about a quarter of the whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Fold in the remaining whites.
  6. Tip the mixture into the prepared cake tin and smooth level. Bake for about 50-55 minutes, or until firm. Turn out carefully on to a wire rack to cool.
  7. Heat the apricot jam with the lemon juice in a small saucepan until melted, then strain through a sieve into a bowl.
  8. Once the cake is cold, slice in half across the middle to make two equal-size layers.
  9. Brush the top and sides of each layer with the apricot glaze, then sandwich them together. Place on a wire rack.
  10. Mix the icing ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Heat gentling, stirring until thick. Simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, without stirring, until the mixture registers 95°C/200°F on a sugar thermometer.
  11. Pour quickly over the cake and spread evenly.
  12. Leave to set, then decorate with chocolate curls.

Makes 10 to 12 servings.

Source: The Ultimate Desserts Cookbook

New Sugar Substitute Made from Food Waste

Kristin Toussaint wrote . . . . . . . . .

As more and more companies look to curb food waste, fruit scraps and ugly pieces of produce that once went into the compost bin or trash can are finding second lives. Juice pulp has been turned into popsicles, wonky veggies into soups, and now Dutch company Fooditive is turning leftovers from apples and pears, along with the pieces of fruit that are unfit for supermarkets, into a chemical-free sweetener.

Current sugar substitutes are considered a growing environmental hazard; artificial sweeteners such as sucralose and aspartame, found in Splenda and Equal, aren’t absorbed by our bodies nor are completely removed by wastewater treatment plants, meaning these sweeteners end up in rivers and oceans, potentially harming aquatic plant and animal life.

Regular cane sugar is the cause of global health problems, and its cultivation is taking an environmental toll, too, requiring intense water use and causing soil erosion and pollution from processing sugarcane. Natural sweeteners like honey have their own complications. Stevia, the natural sweetener derived from the Stevia rebaudiana plant, is known to have a bitter aftertaste, so beverage companies that use stevia often mix it with other artificial sweeteners.

Fooditive, founded by food scientist Moayad Abushokhedim, aims to be a natural alternative to those other sweetener options in a way that’s healthy for the planet and our own bodies. Fooditive takes third-grade apples and pears—those ones with brown spots or off colors, which wouldn’t be sold in a supermarket—from local Dutch farmers, along with some fruit scraps, and extracts the natural fructose through a fermentation process. The final result is a calorie-free sweetener without many of the concerns of both sugar and other sugar substitutes.

Beyond the sweetener, Fooditive also makes all-natural preserving agents for things like sauces, soups, and bakery items out of carrot waste, thickening agents from banana skins, and emulsifiers from potato extracts. The company is collaborating with Rotterdam Circulair, a Netherlands company focused on reusing and recycling waste, with the goal of establishing a circular economy in the city of Rotterdam by 2030.

“Our products really provide the food and beverage producers with the ability to have a clean label, a green label, and show people what’s in their food,” says Geiles. Right now, the company is working in the business-to-business market, partnering with a third-party food industry company called Bodec to get its sustainable sweetener into Dutch products. Geiles says it’s already being used by a Dutch beverage company, though he couldn’t name specific brands.

Fooditive is also registered in Sweden, and next Geiles says the company hopes to expand to other Nordic countries, Jordan (where founder Abushokhedim is from), and the United Kingdom. U.S. food regulations make the move stateside a bit difficult, but Geiles says they’re hoping to bring their sustainable products here as well.

Source: Fast Company

Healthy Habits Still Vital After Starting Blood Pressure, Cholesterol Medications

Heart-healthy lifestyle modifications are always recommended whether blood pressure or cholesterol medications are prescribed or not. However, a new study found that many patients let these healthy habits slip after starting the prescription medications, according to new research published today in the Journal of the American Heart Association, the open access journal of the American Heart Association.

Finnish researchers found patients at risk for heart disease and stroke who took cholesterol or blood pressure lowering medications were more likely to reduce their activity levels and gain weight.

“Medication shouldn’t be viewed as a free-pass to continue or start an unhealthy lifestyle. Our research sought to determine if people who started medications were making the lifestyle changes necessary to see health benefits,” said Maarit J. Korhonen, Ph.D., lead author of the study and senior researcher at the University of Turku in Finland.

Researchers studied more than 40,000 public-sector workers (average age 52, more than 80% female) in Finland who had not been previously diagnosed with heart disease or stroke. Participants were given two or more surveys in 4-year intervals from 2000−2013. The surveys included a baseline and follow up questionnaire to assess BMI, physical activity, alcohol consumption and smoking history. Pharmacy data of participants was also obtained to determine if they began taking the prescribed high blood pressure or statin medications.

Participants’ medication use was categorized by those who began the preventive medications between the baseline and 4-year follow-up surveys, and those who did not start medications. The researchers found that compared to those who did not start medications, those who did:

  • Were more likely to reduce their physical activity and were 8% more likely to become physically inactive;
  • Were 82% more likely to become obese or have an increase in body mass index;
  • Were 26% more likely to quit smoking; and
  • Reduced their alcohol consumption.

While people often gain weight when they stop smoking, this did not explain the BMI increase found in the study. Participants who took their medications and stopped smoking gained more weight than those who didn’t take medications and stopped smoking.

“People starting on medications should be encouraged to continue or start managing their weight, be physically active, manage alcohol consumption and quit smoking,” Korhonen said.

The analysis was limited by the lack of additional details about the respondents’ diets, blood pressure measurements and cholesterol levels. This study was in Finland, where a large public health effort aimed at preventing and managing diabetes was initiated during the study period and may not be generalizable to people in countries without comparable programs and resources. In addition, participants in this study were white and predominantly female public-sector workers, therefore, the results may not be generalizable to more diverse populations.

Source: American Heart Association

One Egg Per Day is Heart-Healthy, After All

It’s no yolk: Americans for decades have gotten dietary whiplash from the back-and-forth science on whether eggs are good for them.

But a major new study will have many egg-lovers relieved: You can enjoy an egg a day without having to worry about your heart.

“Moderate egg intake, which is about one egg per day in most people, does not increase the risk of cardiovascular disease or mortality even if people have a history of cardiovascular disease or diabetes,” said study lead author Mahshid Dehghan. She’s an investigator at the Population Health Research Institute (PHRI) of McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada.

The study, which analyzed data on more than 177,000 people, was funded by various provincial government health agencies in Ontario, and nonprofit groups focused on heart health. It received no funding from the egg industry.

Dehghan’s group pored over data from three large, long-term international studies, all conducted at the PHRI. The three studies involved people with various income levels living in 50 countries on six continents, so the results are widely applicable, the researchers said.

Most of the people in the studies had one or fewer eggs a day, suggesting that this level of consumption is safe, Dehghan said.

“Also, no association was found between egg intake and blood cholesterol, its components or other risk factors,” she said in a McMaster news release. “These results are robust and widely applicable to both healthy individuals and those with vascular disease.”

Eggs are an inexpensive source of essential nutrients, but some nutritional guidelines have advised that people should limit intake to fewer than three eggs a week, due to concerns they increase the risk of heart disease. But as study principal investigator Salim Yusuf pointed out, prior studies about eggs and health have yielded conflicting findings.

“This is because most of these studies were relatively small or moderate in size and did not include individuals from a large number of countries,” Yusuf said in the news release. He directs the PHRI.

Two U.S. experts in nutrition and heart health agreed that maybe it’s time — again — to give eggs a break.

“The case of eggs causing heart disease has been cracked — Humpty Dumpty can remain on the wall,” said Dr. Guy Mintz, who directs cardiovascular health at the Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y. “This very large study has clearly demonstrated that people can have one egg a day without any cardiovascular consequences.”

Mintz believes eggs are a good source of many nutrients, and he stressed that no deleterious effect was seen, even in people who already had heart disease or were taking medications.

Audrey Koltun is a registered dietitian in the division of pediatric endocrinology at Cohen Children’s Medical Center in Lake Success, N.Y. She said, “I am so happy to hear that eggs are not the bad guys anymore.”

The nutritional value of eggs is a constant question from her clients, Koltun said, and “the answer has always been complicated because previous research on this topic has been conflicting.”

Eggs do have high cholesterol levels, she said, but they are also very nutritious in other ways.

“They have many essential vitamins and minerals as well as they contain very high-quality protein,” Koltun said. “The egg white contains most of the protein; the yolk contains iron, phosphorus, fat-soluble vitamins including vitamin D, B vitamins, healthy fat, and other valuable nutrients.”

Besides all that, eggs are “inexpensive, are not processed or have added sugars or added food dyes, preservatives, artificial flavors,” she noted. “Now with science backing me up, I can now answer the question about eggs.”

The study was published recently in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Source: HealthDay

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