California Raisins - The Versatile Ingredient Used by World Class Chefs, Headlined A Healthy and Tasty Evening with Chef Emmanuel Stroobant

January 20, 2020

California Raisins is my favorite since I was a kid and it brought back the sweetness of the raisins. California Raisins has a lot of benefits. Learn the fact of California Raisins.

Benefits of California Raisins

- California Raisins is natural and the sweetness also natural whereby no added sugar on it.

- They are fat- cholesterol-free and naturally low in sodium.

- Rich in Potassium whereby electrolyte to our body. It helps maintain normal blood pressure, transports nutrients to our cell and supports our nerve and muscle functions.

- Source of fiber that good for our digestion and control blood sugar level.

- They are a source of concentrated nutrients.

- Besides that California raisin contain phytonutrients that suppress the growth of oral

bacteria associated with cavities and gum disease.

Do you know consume 1/2 cup of raisins is equivalent to 1½ to 2 cups of fruit per day? Beside consume raisins directly, I actually add it to my cooking recipes. In this post, I will be sharing these wonderful recipes that you can create at home for the upcoming Chinese New Year. 

These delicious recipes were created by 2-star Michelin celebrity Chef Emmanuel Stroobant along with guest Chef Erich Anton Roos who treated 40 key Malaysian Key OpinionLeaders to an intimate dining experience. The Cooking demonstration was here at the Samplings On the Fourteen Restaurant at Berjaya University College. I was so lucky to meet both of the chefs and get to taste California Raisins in a four-course dinner. 

Background about Chef Emmanuel Stroobant

Chef Emmanuel Stroobant is Belgian’s 2-star Michelin celebrity chef had his first brush with culinary business when he started working as a kitchen help as young as 16 years and worked his way in the culinary world within a span of a decade, notably hosting the AFC channel for many years and opening his first restaurant in Singapore called Saint Pierre.

Background About Chef Erich Anton Roos

Chef Erich Anton Roos, a Swiss national with 40 years of culinary and international working experience which covers many Western and Asian countries. Currently based in Bangkok, his role is focused on consultancy and strategic planning for kitchen training needs in international hotel chains.

Sharing the recipes for California Raisins in a four-course dinner :-

Chef Emmanuel Stroobant (3 recipes)

1. California Raisins, Crab & Cauliflower

40g             California Raisins
100g            Breadcrumb (seasoned)
2nos            Spring Onion
1nos            Large egg, lightly beaten
50g             Mayonnaise
1tbls            Lemon Juice
½tsp           Garlic Powder
1no             Red Chilli
360g            Crab Meat (fresh preferred)
60g             Capers, drained
100g            Unsalted Butter, room temperature (for sauce)
50g             Unsalted Butter, room temperature (for cooking)
1tsp            Sherry Vinegar
60ml            Canola Oil
1nos            Cauliflower, cut in slices
20g             Fresh Parsley (minced)
2g               Nutmeg (freshly grated)
To Taste      Kosher Salt
To Taste      Black Pepper (ground)


1. In a large bowl, combine 40g breadcrumbs, green onion, egg, mayonnaise, lemon juice and garlic powder. Fold in the crab. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

2. Form into 12 small patties. Coat with remaining breadcrumbs and pan-fry in butter until golden brown on both sides. Transfer on absorbing paper.

3. In a small saucepan, combine the capers, raisins and 175ml of water. Simmer over moderately low heat for 10 minutes until the raisins are plump; do not boil. Transfer to a blender and puree. With the blender on, add 100g of the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, until incorporated. Add the sherry vinegar to the caper-raisin sauce. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

4. In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add cauliflower and cook over moderately high heat, turning, until crisp-tender. Transfer on absorbing paper.

5. Reheat the caper-raisin sauce. Add parsley and serve hot.

6. Option to make a cauliflower puree with the trimming of cauliflower and cream to avoid wastage.

2. California Raisin Pasta With Fennel & Prawns


40g             California Raisins
400g            Prawns, fresh (cleaned and shelled)
400g            Spaghetti
2 nos           Fennel Bulbs, with leaves
7g               Dill, fresh (tips, chopped)
6 nos           Anchovy Fillets in Oil
2 cloves       Garlic, peeled
2g               Fennel Seeds
1.5 nos        Lemon Zest, grated
90ml            Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 no            Onion, peeled and finely chopped
40g             Pine Nuts
1g               Saffron, threads
To Taste      Kosher Salt
To Taste      Black Pepper (freshly ground)


1. Trim and wash the fennel and cut lengthwise. Then slice very thinly, lengthwise, using a mandolin if available. Put the fennel leaves aside. Blanch the fennel slices in boiling, salted water for 1 minute, refresh in cold water and drain, retaining the cooking water.

2. Take 200ml of the cooking water and soak the raisins in it.

3. Finely chop the fennel leaves. Mash the anchovy fillets and garlic. Finely crush the fennel seeds with a pestle and mortar. Mix the anchovies, garlic, fennel leaves and dill with the lemon rind and 3 tbsp olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Boil a large pan of water for the pasta, add salt and cook the pasta until al dente.

5. At the same time heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and sweat the onion until translucent. Add the prawns and sauté over a medium heat. Add the fennel, the raisins with the soaking liquid, anchovy paste and pine nuts. Dissolve the saffron in a little water and mix in. Season with salt and pepper and cook gently for 4-5 minutes.

6. Drain the pasta, mix with the sauce and serve immediately.

3. California Raisins With Beef Short Ribs & Winter Fruits


150g            California Raisins, blended with 200ml water
650ml          Water
120ml          Usukuchi (Light Soy Sauce)
50ml            Pear Juice
50ml            Apple Juice
50ml            Mirin
1 tbsp          Asian Sesame Oil
10 nos         Black Peppercorn
½ no           Small Onion
1 no            Small Carrot
3 nos           Spring Onions, whites only
2 cloves       Garlic
8 pcs           Bone-In Beef Short Ribs, 140-170g each, trimmed, silverskin removed
3 nos           Apples Peeled, Cored and quartered
3 nos           Pears Peeled, Cored and quartered
100g            Fried Onion


1. For the Marinade: Combine water, soy sauce, pear juice, apple juice, mirin, sesame oil, raisin juice, pepper, onion, carrot, spring onions, and garlic in a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce by 1/3. Set aside and allow to cool.

2. Sear each rib to brown. Set aside and allow to cool. Combine each short rib with 120ml marinade, apples and pears in a vacuum bag.

3. Set an immersion circulator to 62°C. Cook the ribs for 48 hours.

4. When the ribs are cooked, remove them from the warm water bath and plunge them – still in their bags – into a large bowl of ice water.

5. After they have been cooled, they can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a few days or frozen for a few weeks (defrost them overnight in the refrigerator).

6. Open the vacuum bags. Cut the ribs and fruit out of their bags over a mixing bowl to catch the braising liquid; set the ribs and fruit aside. Reserve the braising liquid.

7. Strain the braising liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into a small saucepan. Bring it to a boil over high heat and reduce it until you have about 500ml.

8. Meanwhile, slide the bones out of the short ribs. Trim off any large obvious pieces of fat and trim the ribs into neat cubes (or rectangles) about 85g each.

Chef Erich Anton Roos (Dessert)

4. Symphony of California Raisins 

California Raisin muffin with cream, California raisin cinnamon ice cream and apple puff 

Almond – California Raisin Cream

500 gm        California Golden Raisins
200 gm        Unsalted Butter
200 gm        Roasted Almond
200 gm        Icing Sugar
  10 gm        Corn Flour
340 gm        All Purpose Flour
  10 gm        Vanilla Essence
   2  gm        Salt

1. Beat the butter and Icing Sugar together until the mixture is very fluffy

2. Add the fresh Eggs to the Butter Mix, followed by All-Purpose Flour, Corn Flour and Salt

3. Mix them well together in the Butter-Mix, using a spatula before adding the California Golden Raisins

4. Add the Vanilla Essence at the end.

*This filling is for the Apple Puff - add few slices of fresh Apples.

California Raisins and Coffee Muffins

250 gm        California Natural Raisins
  75 gm        California Golden Raisins
260 gm        Unsalted Butter
200 gm        Custard Sugar
  10 gm        Vanilla Essence
   4 pcs        Fresh Eggs Whole
   7 gm         Baking Powder
340 gm        All Purpose Flour
   2 gm         Salt
200 gm        Fresh Liquid Whipped Cream
  10 gm        Coffee Essence

1. Mix the unsalted butter, custard sugar and coffee essence well

2. Add the fresh eggs to the butter mix.

3. Slowly add warm whipped cream before mixing in the All Purpose Flour, California Natural Raisins and California Golden Raisins

4. Pour gently using a spatula into the muffin trays.

5. Set the bake temperature to 180Celsius until the muffins turn golden brown

6. Remove the muffins from the tray and leave them on a wire rack to cool completely.

California Raisin Cinnamon Ice Cream

250 gm        California Natural Raisins
500 gm        Fresh Milk
500 gm        Fresh Whipped Cream
125 gm        Custard Sugar
  60 gm        Light Brown Sugar
    4 pcs       Cinnamon Stick
    8 pcs       Fresh Egg yolk
    1 gm        Salt
  50 gm        Dark – Rum Liquor
   2  gm        Ground Nutmeg
1      gm      Vanilla Essence

1. Add to the milk and whipped cream the cinnamon stick, vanilla essence, ground nutmeg and cook to boil under low temperature.

2. Meantime whip fresh egg yolk, brown sugar, custard sugar together until fluffy.

3. Add hot fresh milk and fresh whipped cream to egg mix.

4. Mix well for 3 Minute or until the mixture is smooth.

5. Let ice cream mix cool down over ice water.

6. Let it rest overnight in fridge.

7. Next morning make the Raisin ice cream.

8. Add the California Natural Raisins at the end with a spatula under the ice cream.

Puff- Pastry- Dough

1000 gm      All –Purpose – Flour
    35 gm      Salt
  100 gm      Unsalted Butter
    10 gm      Vinegar
  500 gm      Ice Water
    50 gm      Whipped Cream
  750 gm      Unsalted Butter to fold into the Dough

Puff Dough needed for the Dumpling,

Scale: All- Purpose–Four, Salt, Butter, Whip-Cream and Vinegar to make the dough. Mix for 10-12 Minute in small Kitchen Aid.

1. Shape the dough in rectangles and roll out, cover with some plastic-sheets,

rest in fridge for one hour.

2. After one hour, check if the dough has a constant shape.

3. Roll the dough by hand into nice rectangular long shape

4. In the center place 750 gm of butter.

5. Fold completely the butter with the dough.

6. Roll the puff –pastry dough into 5-6 single rolls.

7. Rest dough in fridge for 20 minutes.

Pastry Puff with apple

10 nos of U.S. apple cut in cube

Almond – California Raisin Cream

2 nos eggs whipped for brush


1. Take pastry dough shape with a roll in square, fill with apple cube and the cream, brush with eggs the border and close it in a shape of pocket.

2. Place in oven tray with greased paper and bake for 12 minutes at 180 degree

To the service:

In a plate place the apple pastry, the muffin, and the ice cream served with the fresh cream as desired and fruits.

During the event, Mr Richard Lieu, RAC’s Trade Promotions Director for Malaysia mentions, " California Raisins are a healthy snack compared with other snack foods, as they are naturally sweet and do not contain any added sugar. California Raisins are also a very versatile ingredient and can inspire a wide repertoire of dishes—from appetizers and main dishes to desserts and beverages—especially as consumers are becoming more health-conscious and more adventurous in their culinary endeavors.

Added to his speech, “We are very honored and delighted to work with Chef Emmanuel and Chef Erich to create scrumptious recipes and amazing tastes using California Raisins this time to celebrate the start of 2020 with Malaysian influencers".

Let's heard from Ms Tan Yen Sing about the benefit of taking California Raisins. Ms Tan is a certified clinical dietitian talk.  According to her, studies have shown that increased consumption of fruits & vegetables more than 5 servings a day is related to a 17% reduction in coronary heart disease. 

“Good nutrition is the best approach for preventing diseases and being healthy. Raisins, high level of polyphenol antioxidants containing about 3,037 ORAC units (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity – a method in measuring antioxidants in food) in about 2/3 cup. This essential substance are vital for protection against oxidative stress which is related to aging and disease,” said Tan.

I am glad to know more about California Raisins and I going to get more for my family members. Is a good time to share the goodness of raisins to your family members and friends during this Chinese New Year.  Let's kickstart a healthy snacking with California Raisins. For more information about California Raisins,  visit and

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