Birthday: HEMA pastry and Korean japchae

My birthday has already been a month ago, but I still want to share what kind of cakes I had that day and the Korean japchae that I made for the first time (a big succes!).

HEMA small square cakes and chocolate cake

On my birthday, I already had a slice of the Dudok red velvet cake, but I also bought some other cakes at the HEMA. First, I got a box of HEMA "Lekkernijtjes" (€6.50), which contains small squares of cake with the flavors: apple crumble, chocolate, caramel pear, and carrot cake (2 pieces each). You can also buy these cakes individually at the HEMA restaurants from 16:00, which I mentioned before in this blog post.

HEMA lekkernijtjes carrot cake chocolate cake apple crumble caramel pear

I also bought this chocolate coated cake (€6) with layers of chocolate cake, chocolate mousse, and raspberry jam in the center. On top, there are three crispy chocolate curls and it is dusted with rich cocoa powder. It looks like a dream for a chocolate fan, but I cannot help but feel that the chocolate is still not rich enough for me. It is a good thing that the airy chocolate cake made the cake not too heavy, but one of the chocolate elements could have gotten a stronger chocolate flavor. 

HEMA chocoladetaart chocolate cake

Korean glass noodles (japchae, 잡채) recipe

I wanted to make something special, something I have never tried before, on my birthday and I last-minute decided that it should be Korean japchae. I just went through my refrigerator and kitchen cabinets to find some ingredients for it and luckily, it turned out okay (I don't know why I always stress myself out on my birthday). It isn't the best japchae recipe out there, but I find it simple to make and tasty.

Korean glass noodles japchae 잡채 recipe

- I first soaked the dried shiitake mushrooms as long as I could and afterwards, I cut it in thin slices.
- I washed the wild spinach and pulled it in small strands, cooked it in boiling water, drained it, and mixed it in a bowl with grated garlic, a bit of sesame oil, and a pinch of salt.  
- I made the Korean glass noodles according the instructions on the packaging (Wang Korean starch noodles, 340g) . I just used half a bag, so if you are planning to make more, adjust the ingredients to your amount of noodles.
- The noodle marinade was made with 4 spoons of soy sauce, 1 spoon of honey, 1 spoon of brown sugar, and 1 spoon of sesame oil. If you want, you can also sprinkle some of this marinade on the shiitake mushrooms and spinach.
-  Mix the drained noodles with the noodle marinade in a bowl and set it aside.
- I first stir-fried the onions and carrots. When they look about done, I added the shiitake mushrooms. As the last steps, I added the noodles and the spinach. 
- After dividing the noodles in bowls, I sprinkled some sesame seeds on top as a finishing touch. 

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