It is all about sesame seeds in this tart!

Freshly and Lovingly Baked on : 4th Oct 2014

IMG_0812

IMG_0837

OMG! There is a lizard in my sink! This really startled me. My heart jumped and it took a while for me to settle down. I mentally will it to leave but it did not. I called my uncle and he sped down in minutes. This man has been a pillar of support to my family. He is loving and he loves us all like his own children. I remember that he used to peel grapes, took out the seeds and put it in a tupperware for me to enjoy. He knows I am a lazy gal and he loves me enough to do that for me. As he gallantly use his bare hand to remove the lizard, all I felt was relief. It was a tense 15 to 20 minutes as I peeped over the sink to ensure that it does not crawl elsewhere. Its stare was that of challenging me while I am no wish to participate in this staring game.

He loves sesame seeds. What I can only do for him is to bake something that he loves to eat. Thank you and I hope you like these “packed with sesame seeds” tarts!

IMG_0843

IMG_0814

Black Sesame Tart Crust

140g Unsalted butter
100g Confectionary Sugar
225g All Purpose Flour
20g Almond flour
60g Ground Sesame Seeds (as finely as you can)
A pinch of salt
1Tsp Pure vanilla Extract
1 Egg

Directions :

Sift the flours, finely ground sesame seeds and salt together and set aside. Cream the confectionary sugar and butter together until well mixed before adding the egg and vanilla extract. Then add in the powder mixture in batches and ensure that it is well incorporated before adding the next. Wrapped it in a clingwrap and refrigerate for a couple of hours before using.

Once refrigerated, roll it into a thin sheet on a well floured surface. Use a cookie cutter and cut it out. Position it onto the baking pan of your choice. Use a fork and give it a few pokes before refrigerating it for 15 to 20 minutes before piping in the fillings. I use a dome shaped baking pan. It can made about 10 of such cute tarts!

While waiting so, work on your fillings.

Sesame Seeds Fillings.

125g Unsalted butter
125g Icing Sugar
3 Eggs
1 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
35g Ground Black Sesame Seeds
35g Ground White Sesame Seeds
60g Almond Flour
30 Cake Flour

Directions:

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy before adding in the eggs and vanilla extract . Add in by batches and ensure each batch are well incorporated before adding the next. Add in the almond flour and cake flour and mixed well. Then once that is done, divide up the batter into 2 portions. Add in the white sesame into one and black sesame seeds into the other. Beat till incorporated.

Pipe the frangipane in alternate batters into the tart crust. This batter does not flow. So once you alternate it you can use a tooth pick and mix it up. Bake it in a preheated oven of 180 degree for 20 to 25 minutes.

IMG_0825

Mooncakes Modernized or Should I call it moon tarts? 猪仔饼 Reinvented.

Freshly and Lovingly Baked on : 6th Sept 2014

image

image

Too many mooncakes flooding in my life this season. They flooded my facebook and also the workplace. I felt compelled to get onto the bangwagon which came about after a friend requested for snowskin mooncakes. But he ate it 5 days later after the product was made. Needless to say, home made snow skin mooncakes do not stay soft and springy after so many days. He came back with a ” WHY so hard?” I felt like slapping him because it is a waste of effort when I took the time to do it and this friend also took his time to eat it.

Anyway, moving on. I love 猪仔饼 since I am a little gal. It is a must eat during Mid Autumn Festival. Sometimes, I craved for it when it is not in season too. I only like to eat that rather than the mooncakes since the filling can be a tad too much to bear. Since I wanted to give 猪仔饼 making a try, I might as well come up with a version that incorporate the 猪仔饼 and mooncake fillings. That is when this bake is conceptualized. I decided to tweak it to cater to my liking. I know its not traditional moon cakes but it has all the taste of mooncakes.

Close up on the tart:

image

Ingredients :

125 Golden syrup
35g Canola oil
1/8 Tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
1 Tsp Alkaline Water
200g Cake Flour

Directions :

Mix the oil, syrup, alkaline water and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl. Ensure that they are incoporated well. Next, add in the cake flour in batches. Mix well on each addition. You will realised it became more and more difficult each round.

Rest these for 3 to 6 hours before using.

I rested it for almost 12 hours in the fridge. When I am ready to bake it, I took it out to “thaw” for 30 minutes.

Divided the dough and work it into the tart pan. Poked the base with a fork and blind bake it for 12 mins in a preheated oven of 190 degree. Take it out to cool while working on the fillings.

This batch yield about 4 tarts of 10 cm in diameter.

Fillings:

80g White Lotus Paste
95g Whipping Cream
35g Milk
1/4 Cup Melon Seeds
1/2 Egg

Directions :

Heat up the whipping cream and milk in a pan. Once it boiled, lift it away from the heat. Stir in the white lotus paste. I pureed it further with the melon seeds added. Return it to the pan and whisk in 1/2 an egg quickly.

Spoon the fillings into the tarts and bake it for another 15 minutes in a preheated oven of 170 degree.

Once done, let it cool down before devouring it!

For the decorative piglets, I basically take a bit of the dough out before dividing into 4 equal portion for the tart base. Grease your hand with canola oil while shaping. The beauty of this dough is that it stayed this shape during baking. It does not puffed up. I baked these decorative piglets for 12 minutes in a 190 degree oven. If you like you can give it a coat of egg wash after 12 minutes, and then return it to the oven for another 3 minutes.

Piglets galore

image

image

Pear Tarts my way

Freshly and Lovingly Baked on : 21st Sept 2013

image

 

image

This is a bake which I did last year and I have not had the chance to post it. Since I am going on a holiday at the world’s happiest place soon and I cannot bake, its probably good to catch up on past bakes!

At one point of time last year, I was smitten by tarts. So I tried to break out different components to recreate a new combination. This particular bake is a combination of sable breton and pistachio cream.

Sable breton

Ingredients :
115g All purpose Flour
25g Ground Almond
1 Tsp Baking Powder
100g Unsalted Butter
1/2 Tsp Salt
2 Egg Yolks
85g Granulated Sugar

Directions:
Sift the flour with baking powder. Mix in the salt and ground almond. Set these aside. Then cream butter and sugar together before beating in the yolks. Ensure its well mixed before folding in the powder mix. Wrap it in a clingwrap and then chill it for 1 hour. I roll it into 1 inch thick dough before wrapping it up to chill.

Next work on the pistachio cream.

Ingredients:
55g Unsalted butter
55g Ground pistachio
55g Granulated Sugar
8g Cake Flour
55g Eggs
5g Rum

Directions:
Cream butter and sugar together before adding the eggs and rum. Ensure well incorporated before adding the ground pistachio and cake flour. Mix well and set aside.

Assembly:
Use whatever molds that you like. In this case, I use 2 different kind of pan. One of it shape like a flower while the other is a bundt pan.

Slice up a pear and set aside. I work the sable breton onto the bottom of the greased molds first. The depth is about 1 inch. Then I pipe the pistachio cream onto it. After which, I position the slice pear into the cream in whatever way you desire. Otherwise just follow what I did as per picture. After which, I added some sliced almond or sliced pistachio.

Bake these babies in a preheated oven of 170 degree for 20 minutes. I think you should tent it after 10 minutes. I did not so it was a bit burnt (sheepish)!

 

image

image

Ong Lai Tatt 花开富贵!^_^

Freshly and Lovingly Baked on : 26th Jan 2014

image

image

To be very honest, I really resisted making pineapple tarts, almond biscuits and whatever Chinese New Year goodies which is sprouting up faster than I can say Gong Xi Fatt Choy during this CNY period. Why am I expected to make the norm? Why? And why is everyone buying ready made pineapple paste to make pineapple tart? The very purpose of home baking is to provide the best ingredients for the family and friends. It should be done from scratch! Fresh pineapples chopped and cook down. Exercise those biceps people! Do not go for the short cut!

Alright, I am not going to work my bicep that much this year. I am older and I have pass that herd instinct stage. I like to do things my way. I do not like the norm AND I AM NOT GOING TO MAKE TRADITIONAL PINEAPPLE TART. Alright, I shall stop ranting before you think that I am a nut case and need to go for anger management class. 😉 haha.

So here goes: My version of “pineapple tart”. I titled this 花开富贵.Y(^_^)Y

Component:

1) Dried pineapple
2) Pineapple Pastry Cream
3) Crust

In this entire project, fresh pineapples are used. I deliberated if I should use canned given the syrup in the canned version might be useful to accentuate the pineapple taste. However, I cannot get pass the preserved fruits thing. So I just bite the bullet and go for the fresh one. Its very troublesome but I love the intense fresh fruit taste. I use kitchen towel to dry the chopped up fruits to prevent excessive liquid in the batter.

For the garnishes, I started a day ahead to dry the fruits in the oven. I dried this pineapple the same way which I did for my butter cake project. But this time, am wiser. You really need to slice this pineapple really really thin. Toweled dry as much of the pineapple as much as you can. In this project, I basically cut the pineapple into smaller pieces so that I can stacked it to look like flower.

Direction:
Place the fresh pineapples onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake these golden slices at 190 degree for 30 minutes or until dried on top. Half way through, Flip sides and baked for the remaining amount of time.

Once done, take it out and cool it down. Keep these in a airtight container for up to 3 days.

Next prepare the pastry cream.

Ingredients: (adapted from Sherry Yard’s Pastry Cream recipe)
1/2 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup Pineapple Puree
1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 Tbsp All Purpose Flour or Cornstarch (I used Cornstarch in this bake)
A pinch of Salt
1 1/2 large eggs Chilled
1/2’Tbsp Softened Unsalted Butter

Addition:
To further accentuate the taste of the pineapple, I dried some thicker slices of pineapples. I did not let it dried up but dry enough to have a more intense flavour. I chopped them up and stir into the pastry cream just before assembling the parts.

Directions:

Sift the Cornstarch and stir in 1/8 Cup sugar and Salt. Mix well and set aside.

Prepare a nonstick pot and bring the milk, pineapple puree, vanilla extract, and 1/8 cup of Sugar to simmer.

While waiting for it to be heated up, beat the eggs with a whisk in a large bowl. Add the sifted cornstarch mixture and whisk till fluffy.

Once the milk mixture came to a simmer, remove from heat. Ladle some of the heated mixture into the whisked egg batter and stir well.After which, pour this egg batter into the pot whisking continuously. Return the pot to the heat and whisk rapidly until it thickened. That should take less than 1 min. Continue to cook and whisk it for another 2 to 3 minutes until it achieved the texture of a pudding.

Then strain the pastry cream through a fine strainer. Stirred in the butter and ensure that it is well incorporated.

Scoop the pastry cream into a clean dry container. Cover it with a clingwrap. Ensure the clingwrap touches the cream directly as this will help prevent a film from producing. Let it cool down to room temperature and chill it thereafter. It can be chilled up to 3 days.

Pastry dough

Ingredients:
The Dry
280g All Purpose Flour
2 Tsp Baking Powder

The wet
1 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
1.5 Egg yolks
1/2 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1/4 Tsp Salt
______________________________
165g Unsalted butter ( Cold and diced)
4 Tbsp Ice Cold Water

Directions
I do not have a food processor so I did everything in my trusted Kitchen Aid.

Mix the wet ingredients up in a separate bowl.
Sift APF and the baking power together into the mixer bowl.

Add in the cold diced butter into the flour mixture and process till it resembled crumbs. Then pour in the wet ingredients before adding in the chilled water. Mix well until it form a dough.

Gather it up into a ball. Wrap it up in clingwrap and refrigerate for 1 hr.

I used square molds for the tarts. It is enough for 8 squares of tarts with each around 7 cm by 7cm.

Bake it at 190 degree for 15 mins and let cool.

Assembly.

Scoop a desired amount of pastry cream into the tart and arrange the dried pineapple into a flower shape. Crush some tarts and stir in coloured sugar and use it to fill up the centre portion as buds.

image

image

image

Rosemary Yoghurt Cake. A scent I will never get tired of.

Freshly and Lovingly Baked on : 29th Dec 2013

image

Pacing around the house and getting a bit restless. As I pace, the brain is racing like the Porsche 911 on a F1 race track. I should be reading about the currency market but its year end, I decide to be ‘nice’ to myself and focus on the bakes instead. And so I begin….

Fresh organic rosemary – the scent is so beautiful. After chopping it up, I can still sniff it on my hands. This pair of hand is weathered. It is a pair of hardworking hands. Weathered from the constant washing of my bakeware. I figured no amount of moisturizer will help. I sarcifice. Yes, indeed I did. 🙂 okie, sorry for disgressing.

What I did in advance before doing up the batter was to chop up the rosemary and pounding it with the required amount of sugar in this recipe. I let the natural oil from the rosemary permeated the sugar.

Ingredients:

150g Unsalted Butter ( softened )
1 cup Granulated Sugar
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 Tsp Lemon zest
2 Tsp Pure Vanilla extract
1/2 Cup Plain Yoghurt
3 eggs
1 n 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
1 n 1/2 Cup Cake Flour
1 n 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp salt
2 Tbsp Chopped Rosemary

Directions:

To do in advance: Pound or grind the rosemary with sugar and set aside for a few hours.

Cream butter and the prepared sugar together until fluffy. Add in the lemon juice, zest and vanilla extract and mix well. Follow by the yoghurt. After which, slowly add in the egg one at a time. It might look curdled. But fret not.

Mix flour, salt and baking powder together. Then scoop one tablespoon at a time into the batter. Do not overmix.

Preheat oven at 175 degree.

This amount of batter is enough for six 10 cm diameter mini cake pans.

Greased cake pans well and scoop the batter into it.

Baked for 30 mins and let cool in pan before taking it out.

Lemon syrup for garnishing

3/4 Cup of powdered Sugar
4 and 1/2 Tbsp Lemon Juice

Directions:

Mix the ingredients well and scoop it on top of the cakes.

I love this cake. Its soft and fragrant. Perfect with a cup of tea.

image

image

 

 

 

 

 

 

I actually did up a tart dough to present this cake. Basically, you can use any of my biscuit or tart recipe. After shaping it into a disc, I use whole hazelnuts and position it onto the dough to create the letter S.

The concept of this is basically to create the stand for me to position the cake onto it. I want to create a space in between the tart and cake with the hazelnuts.

Enjoy.

image