On the shelf

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 10 October, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 10 October, 2010, 12:00am

I love sake that has been infused with seasonal fruit and flowers, such as plum and sakura - the latter is available only when cherry blossoms are in bloom. Recently, while browsing the shelves of TFH Super (shop B, Tung Lam Mansion, 43 Third Street, Sai Ying Pun, tel: 2548 5333), which specialises in Japanese products, I came across yuzu sake and yamamomo sake. I am familiar with yuzu - it's one of my favourite citrus fruits - but had never heard of yamamomo. It turns out it's what the Chinese call yangmei, also known as Chinese bayberry. Both sakes are delicious - dry, with the subtle but distinct flavour of the fruits. A 500ml bottle sells for HK$56.

The macadamia is one of my favourite nuts, so I was happy to see it made into a rich butter. The label on the MaraNatha roasted macadamia nut butter suggests eating it by the spoonful or adding it to baked goods. I stirred it into melted chocolate for a macadamia version of Nutella (made with hazelnuts), which I then mixed into plain cake batter to make chocolate-macadamia swirl cupcakes. MaraNatha macadamia butter sells for HK$35.90 for 224 grams at Great (Pacific Place, Admiralty, tel: 2918 9986).

I've added a new flavour to my home-made macaron repertoire: black sesame. When I first made them, I tried grinding my own sesame seeds but I couldn't get them fine enough. At Twins (395 Shanghai Street, Yau Ma Tei, tel: 8111 3080), I found ground black sesame seeds, which I mix into both the batter for the shells and the filling, then I decorate them with whole black sesame seeds just before baking. A 50-gram bag sells for HK$14.