Cookies and Cream Polvoron

20160729-190742-68862690.jpgHave you ever heard of polvoron? This milky no-bake filipino sweet little bites, will melt in your mouth. I’m telling you, that this thing is addictive!!

The first time I ate a polvoron was when a friend went back from a vacation from the Philippines and she bought a couple of boxes of polvoron. It is sweet and melt in your mouth, I was hooked on the cookies and cream polvoron. I ended up eating half of the box.

And that is why I ended up obsessing on recreating this cookies and cream polvoron since I can’t find it anywhere here on my local stores.

20160729-234808-85688962.jpgSo normally, they would use a polvoron molder to shape those polvoron, but I used a silicon mold instead, just by pressing and compacting the polvoron mixture into the mold, and this is not so traditional, but since I only use a silicone mold, I put it in the fridge for an hour or so to be able to unmold it easily .

20160729-235411-86051524.jpgAnyway, I just want to say sorry that I haven’t posted much in the last 2 months. My 2 post a month goal is very much non existent these couple of months. It’s because I was so busy with stuff. Stuff being…

I’m moving to France to continue my study!!!!
After a year of taking my chances, my dream will finally came through!

Going to France to study patisserie and boulangerie has always been my dream since I was 15 years old. But it’s so far away… And expensive.

After graduating high school, I hold on to nothing but faith that I will be able to study in France. It’s France or nothing. So that being said, I did not apply to any college what so ever. I kept on studying French hoping that I will be able to study there someday.. Seeing my friends, one by one leaving for college and I’m pretty much being a stubborn dreamer who sometimes doubt her decision of postponing going to college.

“So, you finished high school?”
“Yes I did”
“What college are you attending?”
“Umm…. I’m postponing my further studies for a year learning French because I’m going to France next year”

This is how every of my conversation with my aunts and uncles, mom and dad’s friends, or any other people who’s attempting on making small talks with me.

And yet, even if I was so sure on saying I will be going to France next year, I had NOOOO idea what my future will be.

20160730-001611-971010.jpg
So anyway, I’ve been busy on registration and making my visa so that’s why I haven’t been baking or cooking that often.

And another note, I will move to Strasbourg, in the region of Alsace. A city in the borderline of France and Germany.

Here are some pictures of Strasbourg just to make you jelly (of course, all the beautiful Strasbourg pictures are not mine since I’m not there yet. You can find the source of the pictures by clicking it)

20160730-150615-54375100.jpgMy mind and soul is there already, for a very long time.

20160730-150952-54592978.jpgPlus, Strasbourg is the “capitale de noël” which means the capital of christmas! Can’t wait to spend my christmas there!

20160730-151530-54930217.jpg

20160730-151640-55000000.jpg

20160730-151640-55000124.jpgJust… Gorgeous right? Oh how my wanderlust mind can’t wait to get there!

20160730-151746-55066856.jpgAnyway, back to polvoron. To be honest, I’ve made this cookies and cream polvoron quite a long time ago and I wasn’t planning on posting it here because.. Well the picture quality is not very satisfying. But I still got to post something here at least once! So yeah, pardon the picture quality and the lack of step by step pictures.

Have a good one everybody!

20160730-152306-55386473.jpg

Cookies and Cream Polvoron Recipe
Adapted from kawalingpinoy’s recipe
Made 30-40 pcs of polvoron

Ingredients:
• 2 cups flour
• 1 cup powdered milk
• ¾ cup sugar
• 8 pcs of oreo, crushed (the original uses only 5-6 pcs, feel free if you don’t want too much oreo)
• ½ tsp salt
• ¾ cup unsalted butter, melted

How to make:
1) In a pan with medium heat, toast the flour until light brown and aromatic, stir constantly then transfer into a mixing bowl.
2) Mix the flour, powdered milk, sugar, crushed oreo and salt until combined then pour in the melted butter, mix until it resembles a coase sand texture. You can test by squeezing a bit of the mixture and it will hold it shape. If not, add more melted butter 1 tablespoon at a time.
3) Press the polvoron mix into a mold (I used a heart shape silicone mold but if you got a polvoron mold, even better!)
4) (optional) put the shaped polvorons into the fridge for 2 hours before unmolding if you’re using a silicone mold then wrap them individually with a candy wrappers or serve them in a mini cupcake liner.

Advertisements

Taro Magic Custard Cake

20160623-204822-74902525.jpgMagic custard cake, one cake batter turns into 3 layers dessert!
The first bottom layer is a dense gooey cake, then the second layer is a creamy custard and the top layer is a sponge cake.. All made up of ONE batter! Oh yeah, that’s the magic part.

I decided to flavour this magic custard cake into a taro or purple yam flavour. My favourite bubble milk tea flavour if you’re familiar with this (seriously has become a stereotype) asian drink. But yeah… I got to be honest, there are no actually purple yam in this taro magic custard cake. More on that later.

Anyway, I also want to flavour it in a different way other than vanilla and chocolate. So…

Ok let’s get started, shall we?
The ingredients are:

20160625-235702-86222674.jpgMilk, butter, eggs, sugar, flour, salt and taro tea powder…. Waiiiit.. What?

20160626-003920-2360739.jpgYep. Taro tea powder.
Umm… But what’s that?
It is a drink mix powder, often found sweetened and sometimes called taro latte powder if it consist some milk on it where you can just dilute it in some warm water/milk, put some boba pearls and ice and you got boba taro milk tea!

Also another reason why I decided to make it into taro flavoured magic custard cake is that.. Well, Let’s start from the beginning. The first magic custard cake recipe I encountered and made me realise such awesome dessert exist was a chocolate one then I found the vanilla and even fruit flavoured ones. Then I found the matcha and I was super intrigue to make the matcha flavoured magic custard cake until one day I decided to use all of my matcha powder for a birthday cake for a friend. So… Scratch that because I don’t have the money to buy another packet of high quality green tea powder.

After some times, I’ve forgotten this magic custard cake idea until I found some packets of taro tea powder stored deep inside my pantry. As I’ve said before, being a boba taro milk tea lover (fanatics, even.), I’ve tried to made them my own and totally forget them after using a few packets and consuming them every. Single. Day.

So, as I’ve said before, this cake got no actual purple yam on it instead it’s the flavouring powder. I mean.. Let’s face it, in most countries, finding taro tea powder is way easier than the actual taro itself.. You can just purchase it online!

Well, I found mine online too, but unfortunately this shop did not ship worldwide. Maybe you can find it in your asian grocery stores? If not, still. Buying it online is your best chance. The taro tea powder that I own is not that great in terms of quality anyway. The colour was a bit off.

20160626-222706-80826374.jpgStart of by separating your egg whites and yolk.

Whip the egg whites on high speed until it becomes fluffy like a cloud. Stiff peak stage.

20160626-223043-81043077.jpgnext up, whisk the yolk with the sugar,
Mix in the flour, taro powder and salt,
Then stream in the melted butter,
Lastly the milk!

20160626-223710-81430327.jpgThe batter should be super liquid. Don’t panic, don’t reduce any milk. You’re on a right track.

Put the clouds into the purple liquid.
You’re not suppose to loose a lot of air in the whipped egg whites, but folding the whipped whites to the liquid batter is damn hard.
So here’s what I did, I whisk them gently together, just whisking from the side ( not from the center), turning the bowl as I whisk and once I saw the whites are pretty much covered with the purple, I’m done. It won’t and shouldn’t be totally mixed together so don’t stress out and vigorously whisk them.

20160626-233113-84673569.jpgAaand bake, sprinkle with icing sugar, cut and enjoy!!

Wait, although I should tell you to let it cool first, if possible, put it into the fridge for an hour or so until the cake feels firm, then you can cut it. If not, this cake would be pretty messy to cut.

Although, for me, the cake taste better in room temperature because the custard part goes even creamier. But yeah, it’s a personal preference and plus, if you’re not a big fan of waiting, you can just dig in!

20160627-215523-78923419.jpgWell honestly, I’m not the biggest fan of waiting too, especially with food. But since I took quite sometime taking pictures of this taro magic custard cake, it comes to temperature as time goes by…..

So here’s the best chronology to enjoy the taro magic custard cake:
Bake – let cool – sprinkle with icing sugar – cut into pieces – wait until the cake has come to room temperature – best part, DIG IN!!

20160627-220011-79211793.jpgA tumbled down stack of taro magic custard cake.

20160627-220522-79522544.jpgCan you see those layers? It looks like it got 4 layers even. But still. It’s fudgey cake, dreamy creamy taro cream and lastly the fluffy sponge cake layer.

20160627-221414-80054952.jpg

20160629-210001-75601270.jpg,Have a good one everybody!

20160629-210103-75663283.jpg

Taro magic custard cake recipe
Makes 1 pan of 21 x 21 cm cake

Ingredients:
• 4 eggs (yolks and whites separated)
• 225 g white sugar
• 60 g all-purpose flour
• 15 g taro tea powder*
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 110 g unsalted butter (melted)
• 475 ml (2 cups) whole milk
• vanilla extract (optional)

* Unsweetened, if you cannot find the unsweetened kind, use 200 g sugar or adjust accordingly. Also, 15 g is based on my not-so-stong taro powder, if you can find a better quality, use about 7-10g or adjust to your liking.

How to make it:
1) Whip the egg whites with 2 tablespoon of the sugar until stiff peak stage. Set aside.
2) Whip the egg yolks with the rest of the sugar until pale and fluffy then add in the flour, salt and taro powder, whisk until combined.
3) Pour in the melted butter, stir, then pour the milk and vanilla, stir until just combined.
4) Working half at a time of the egg whites, spoon and whisk them together, just by the side GENTLY trying not to loose a lot of air, the mixture will not be totally incorporated.
5) In a 21x21cm square pan that has been buttered, line the sides of it making the parchment paper hang on to the sides then coat with caster sugar, pour in the batter then bake at a preheated oven at 180°C or 360°F for 50-60 minutes.
6) Let the cake totally cooled before unmolding it, sprinkled with icing sugar then cut into pieces.

Lemon Dome Cake

20160414-233021-84621177.jpgI’ve been tackling cakes in an entremet façon.. I just feel like cakes with different components and textures are an interesting thing to do.

Also, I made a jar of lemon curd which I posted on my previous post and decided to make this individual lemon cake.

Also, a heads up, this is not a step by step post since there are a lot of components in this lemon dome and also I did not take any picture since I wasn’t planning on posting it but this lemon dome turns out to be more successful than I thought. So.. Yes, the recipe will be a long one.

20160423-232655-84415366.jpgFor those of you who are not familiar with the word entremet, it’s a fancier version of your regular birthday cake. Usually consist of different texture and flavours that balance the whole thing instead of just regular cake and buttercream.

The most regular one to use is mousse as their main component. The base of entremets usually are the crunch factor. Some people use sable breton which is buttery, melt in your mouth shortbread cookies, or chocolate mixed with feuilletine (basically crunchy crepes) but not all entremet has to have a crunch factor, that’s why they sometimes use dacquoises (almond sponge), biscuit à la cuillère (lady fingers but since you made it from scratch usually people shape it into a disk for the base of your cake), génoise cake which what I’m using for this lemon dome, and many more. All types of cakes from brownies to chiffon cakes are often used for the cake part.

The insert of the entremet is where you can get creative with. Here, I fill them with strawberry jelly and lemon curd. Some use panna cotta, creme brulee like flan, fruit jellies, ganaches, and many more. It’s just how you balance the flavour all together.

20160423-234559-85559777.jpgAnd since you’re here, I think you deserve a close up look of the inside.

The components of this lemon dome are (from the bottom to the top layer):
• Lemon genoise cake soaked with lemon syrup
• Strawberry basil jelly
• Lemon curd
• Vanilla bean mascarpone mousse
• Lemon yogurt glacage

20160424-000201-121454.jpgI used some melted chocolate and fondant cut into little flowers to create those pretty swirly flowery decoration.

I am ridiculously proud of the flower decor on this lemon dome. Since I usually am not that good on the decor department but this lemon dome looks pretty aren’t they??

20160426-162154-58914134.jpgLook at that oozing lemon curd. It kind of act as the sauce but also the refreshing element of this lemon dome.

I made this lemon dome, other than to tackle cakes in an entremet way but also I was making something that my dad can also eat. My dad is not the biggest fan of anything sweet. Nope. Usually the desserts that I made were devoured by me, my mom and my sister, never my dad. He would probably eat a bite of two then that’s it. But my dad is the biggest fan of anything sour. His level of sour endurance is to the point where he snacks on sliced lemons. Just like that. So, since he like sour food, I decided to make this lemon dome.

I put some yogurt on the strawberry jelly so it would be as sour as my dad’s level of sour preference. Also yogurt on the glacage for the same reason, and also glacage is extremely sweet on it’s own since it uses sugar solution AND white chocolate for those coloured glacage. And since I haven’t found any less sweet alternative for the glacage, I decided to balance the sweetness with the lemon curd and yogurt.

For those of you who’s not the biggest fan of sour, you can omit or reduce the yogurt amount on both the jelly and glacage.

20160426-165740-61060488.jpgOkay, this lemon dome is a bit shy, it’s trying to hide behind the leaves.

20160426-171423-62063635.jpgOh yeah, I used some mirror glace with a bit of red food colouring for the red middle part, but you can use anything you got. You can use some melted candy melts, strawberry jam/jelly, white chocolate dyed red, or even some fondants dyed red. Well, that is of course if you want to make this lemon dome just like what I did. You can search for other alternatives on decorating if you’re not feeling for something too sweet looking like this

20160426-171901-62341622.jpgHave a good one everybody!

20160427-173646-63406054.jpg

Lemon Dome recipe
Makes 8, diameter of 5 cm domes

See lemon curd recipe here.

Ingredients:
Genoise cake
• 2 large eggs
• 45 g sugar
• 65 g cake flour
• a pinch of salt
• Zest of 1 lemon
• 5 g unsalted butter (melted)
• 7 ml milk
• ¼ tsp vanilla extract

Strawberry Basil Jelly
The quantity of the flavourings (basil, yogurt, sugar) can be added depending on your preference
• 10 pcs of big strawberry (washed and hulled, then cut into smaller pieces)
• 5-7 fresh basil leaves
• 50 g sugar
• 100 ml water
• 4 g gelatin powder (use 3g of gelatin if omiting the yogurt)
• 3 tbsp plain yogurt

Lemon Syrup
• Juice of 1 lemon
• 50 ml water
• 50 g sugar

Vanilla Bean Mascarpone Mousse
• 65 g mascarpone cheese
• 20 g unsalted butter
• 7 g powdered gelatin
• 2 egg whites
• 45 g sugar
• 60 ml fresh cream
• 20 g sugar
• ½ vanilla pod

Lemon Yogurt Glacage
• 8 g corn starch
• 7 g gelatin powder
• 4 tbsp lemon curd (loosen by dipping the jar in warm water for about 5 minutes or microwave on high for 10 seconds, then let cool to room temperature)
• 2 tbsp plain yogurt
• 90 g sugar
• 50 g glucose/corn syrup
• 30 ml water
• 100 ml fresh cream
• 70 g white chocolate
• Yellow food colouring (optional)

Decoration
• 30 g milk chocolate (melted)
• Little flower shaped fondant
• Red jam

How to make:
Genoise Cake
1) Beat the eggs and sugar in a stand mixer or with an electric whisker until super fluffy (around 6-8 minutes). You can tell by when the whisk is lifted the batter will fall into ribbon and the batter won’t dissolve back again and disappear.
2) Sift in the flour and salt then add the lemon zest, fold the batter while turning the bowl just until the flour clumps is no longer there and trying to keep the air in the batter as much as possible.
3) Add the melted butter, milk and vanilla, fold just until the liquid mixed in.
4) Pour into a 20×20 cm greased and lined baking pan, level the top and the sides, bake in a preheated oven at 180°C or 360°F for 20-25 minutes of until the middle part is springy when touched and the edges is golden brown.
5) Let cool then unmold. With a circle cutter the size of your molds, cut circles.
You may not get 8 perfect circles but you can cut semi circles from the sides and some pieces to make it into a perfect round. Just like a jigsaw puzzle!

Strawberry Basil Jelly
6) Mix the yogurt and gelatin, stir well. Set aside.
7) In a saucepan, put the cut strawberries, basil, sugar and water then bring to a boil until all the strawberries are soft. Roughly mash the strawberries and basil with a fork, cook for another 3 minutes.
8) Turn off the heat then add in the yogurt gelatin mixture. Stir until all dissolved.
9) Strain the jelly mixture into an 8×8 cm mold lined with aluminum foil or put it into an 8×8 cm ziplock bag, take as much air as possible from the bag then seal it. Rest it on a flat surface.
10) Put in the freezer until solid. Then cut the plastic bag or foil, with a small round cutter (I just used a big pipping tip around 3 cm in diameter, dipped the round side in warm water), cut the jelly into small round disks. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Lemon Syrup
11) Put all the ingredients together in a saucepan then bring to a boil. Let cool to room temperature.

Vanilla Bean Mascarpone Mousse
12) Take 2 tbsp cream then mix with the gelatin. Set aside to bloom.
13) In a saucepan, combine the mascarpone and butter. Melt on low heat just until the butter melted, stir in the bloomed gelatin until all melted. Set aside to cool slightly.
14) Whip the egg whites with the 45g sugar until stiff peak with an electric mixer or a stand mixer.
15) Split the vanilla pod then scrape out the seeds, put it into the remaining cream then whip the cream with the 20g sugar until soft peak with the same beater that used to whip the egg whites.
16) Add a spoonful of the whipped cream into the slightly cooled mascarpone mixture, then mix (you don’t need to be too gentle). Pour all the mascarpone mixture to the remaining cream then fold gently.
17) Add a spoonful of the whipped egg to the cream mixture then with a wire whisk, whisk them until roughly combined. Pour all the cream mixture to the egg white mixture then whisk gently until no lumps of egg whites are left.
18) Pour the mousse into a silicone dome mold nearly all the way to the top (leave around ½ cm space).
19) Set the mousse in the fridge for 5-6 hours (I left it overnight).

Assembly
20) Once the mousse has set, take it out then with a spoon (preferably a round spoon like a scoop, I used a melon baller) dipped in hot water, scoop the middle part of the mousse creating a well in the middle the size of the strawberry jelly disk. Reserve the scooped mousse bits in a bowl.
21) Fill the well with the lemon curd (room temperature or dipped in a warm water bath for about 5 minutes to loosen the lemon curd) ¾ of the way. Then top the lemon curd with the strawberry jelly.
22) Put the reserved scooped mousse bits, into the microwave 10 seconds burst on medium power just until the edges melted (not hot or it might cook the egg), then stir until all has melted.
23) Brush the genoise with the lemon syrup. This will moistened the cake.
24) Smear enough melted mousse on top of the dome mousse just enough to stick the genoise cake.
25) Put it into the freezer until ready to glaze.
Freezing the dome overnight will be easier for the glacing part but I didn’t bother to do that since I’ve set the mousse overnight.

Lemon Yogurt Glacage
26) Mix the yogurt with the gelatin. Set aside to bloom.
27) Mix the lemon curd with the corn starch. Stir until dissolved.
28) In a saucepan, mix the sugar, glucose/corn syrup and water. Bring to a boil until all the sugar has dissolved. Pour in the cream then stir until all combined, then add in the corn starch and lemon curd mixture, keep stirring until thickened. Cook for another minute to cook the flour (so there won’t be any raw flour taste).
29) Turn off the heat, then stir in the yogurt gelatin mixture until dissolved.
30) Over a sift on top of the white chocolate, strain the cooked mixture to remove any lumps, then stir the chocolate until all melted. Add the yellow food colouring if the colour is not bright enough.
31) Let cool to room temperature, not in the fridge as it will sets up.

Glazing
32) Remove the lemon dome out of the mold, set it on a glass with a smaller diameter than the dome with a pan underneath to catch the dripping glacage. Pour the cooled glacage over the lemon dome (pouring a lot of the glacage will ensure even coating). Set it back in the fridge until firm.
You can just scoop back the glacage from the pan to glace the other lemon domes.
If the glacage gets to thick to pour, melt them back in a low heat or in a microwave. But if it’s too hot, you need to let it cool back down to room temperature or else it will melt the mousse if the glacage is too hot.

33) (optional) Do the second coat on the lemon domes. Then set it back again in the fridge before decorating.

Decoration
34) Pipe twine like swirls with the melted chocolate on top of the domes.
35) Using more chocolate, stick the little flower fondants scattered all pver the lemon dome then dot with red coloured jam in the middle.

Lemon Curd a.k.a Liquid Gold

Edit: this post was scheduled to be posted at 6th April but somehow it did not post itself like it usually does… After posting about it on instagram that the recipe is on the blog. 20160328-222459-80699105.jpgSpring time is here! What’s a better way than to welcome it with a refreshing lemon curd?

Lemon curd a.k.a liquid gold. Sour yet refreshing, addictive and versatile for anything!

I made this lemon curd because I got so much stuff I want to do with them (other than eating it straight from the jar), also I got quite some egg yolk left from making swiss meringue buttercream so yeah, why not make this addictive lemon curd?

Now for those of you who realise the word “lemon curds” in the picture, I know I annoyed some grammar nazi out there but I know okay, it’s not suppose to be plural. Lemon curd. Yeah, not sure what’s going on in my mind when I wrote it. I realise this after taking all my pictures with it, throwing the paper away then making something that ended up using half of the jar.
Well actually that paper was suppose to stick to the jar as a label but since I refrigerate the lemon curd then trying to stick the label to a wet jar surface (because if the condensation) and failing miserably so yeah.. The pictures will show where I place it in the end.

This one is gonna be a speedy, simple and easy recipe, let’s get cooking!

20160331-111438-40478055.jpgIt all started by painstakingly zesting and squeezing 6 lemons. I squeeze them all by hand, and it took me quite some time to get it all the juices out… But the end product totally worth it though. Yummy lemon curd….

Notes:
* Don’t be a dummy like me, remember to zest the lemon first then cutting them in half…
* Rolling the lemon before squeezing releases more juice from the lemon! I heard that microwaving it before hand do the trick too but I never bothered, rolling them is enough.
* Don’t zest to the bitter white part of the lemon!

20160331-112412-41052158.jpgAnd the ingredients you need are butter, egg yolks, eggs, lemon juice, lemon zest and sugar. That’s it!

20160404-215057-78657005.jpgFirst thing first, rub the sugar with the lemon zest until all combined, this is not a necessary step but I just like to work dough, etc with my hands plus by really rubbing the zest with the sugar will draw the natural oil from the lemon making the lemon curd even more zestier and smells super lemony.

20160404-221255-79975588.jpgNext just combine the eggs and lemon juice into the lemonny sugar then whisk them constantly (so the egg won’t scrambled) on top of a pot of simmering water (this is called a bain marie) until thick and seem almost like a fluffy goo… Sorry I can’t find a better word to describe it.

20160404-221822-80302519.jpgOnce the lemon curd is thick and voluptuous, remove from the heat and add in the cold cubed butter, stir until all has melted this will give the lemon curd that creamy rich flavour. Also, I would definitely suggest you to use a good european butter with higher fat percentage so that the buttery aroma will come through on the ready lemon curd.

20160404-222616-80776699.jpgLastly, strain the cooked lemon curd for that smooth, silky, lemonny, yummy lemon curd..

20160404-224513-81913061.jpgPut them in a sterilized jar and refrigerate for longer shelf time. This lemon curd can be stored up to 3 months in the fridge.

20160404-224320-81800664.jpgLook at that bright yellow lemon curd! Perfect for welcoming spring time!

20160406-233513-84913783.jpgOh my I’m literally salivating right now. I loooove lemon curd!
20160404-230549-83149207.jpgWho said you can’t brighten up a day with food? Just make sunshine! In a form of lemon curd 😋

Anyway, for easier use for example if you need to drizzle the lemon curd on top of a cake or something, you can microwave it on high for 20-30 seconds depending on your microwave, or submerge the whole jar into a bowl of warm water for about a minutes to loosen the lemon curd.

20160406-111615-40575889.jpgPut these liquid gold on your toast, waffles, pancakes, make desserts out of it, or just eat it straight from the jar! Why not? For me, this is what I did with some of my lemon curd

20160406-111829-40709230.jpgI made little lemon entremet (I’m not sure if this small thing can still be called entremet or not…). I might post the recipe to that cake but I don’t really have any step by steps pictures, since there’s a lot going on inside. Maybe later…

Anyway, have a good one everybody!

20160406-112849-41329207.jpg

Lemon Curd recipe
Makes around 500ml lemon curd

Ingredients:
• 300 ml lemon juice (I used 6 small lemons)
• Lemon zest from all the lemons you’ve juiced
• 230 g sugar (or more if you want)
• 7 egg yolks
• 3 whole eggs
• 115 g unsalted butter (cold and diced)

How to make:
1) Rub the sugar and lemon zest together to release natural oil from the lemon. Then add in the lemon juice, egg yolks and eggs, with a wire whisk stir until combined.
2) Put the mixture on top of a pot of simmering water (making sure that the water did not touch the bottom of the bowl) then whisk constantly so that the egg won’t curdle until the mixture has thickened (until it coats thickly a spoon and you can draw a line on the back of the spoon)
3) Remove from the heat then put the diced cold butter, stir until melted.
4) Store in a sterilized jar and in the fridge for longer shelf time.

Galette Des Rois {Pithivier Filled with Almond Frangipane}

20160224-105536-39336090.jpgQui sera la reine ou le roi?
Who will be the queen or the king?

A classic french pastry that is traditionally eaten at L’ephiphanie. Similar to the cake eaten during mardi gras, the king cake. Traditionally in galette des rois or the king cake there will be a trinket, or a bean (called la fève in french) where will be put inside the cake and who ever get the bean or trinket in their piece of cake will be crowned the king or the queen for the day.

This recipe is super easy and fast. Well here I’m cheating by using ready made puff pastry but if you choose to make it from scratch, you should make the puff pastry a day or two before. Or alternatively, you can make a rough puff which is a faster version of classic puff pastry. I like to use this recipe for a quick rough puff pastry.

20160223-195138-71498095.jpgFirst component to make for this galette des rois is the almond frangipane. And to make the frangipane first you need to make crème pâtissière or pastry cream.

The ingredients are egg yolks, vanilla pod (or good quality vanilla extract), sugar, flour and corn startch and milk. Basic ingredients to make pastry cream.

20160223-203737-74257435.jpgScrape the vanilla bean from the vanilla pod, put the vanilla seeds and pod into the milk then heat them just until simmering.

20160223-204301-74581409.jpgCombine the yolks, sugar, flour and corn starch then whisk until all has combined.

20160223-205030-75030147.jpgOnce the milk has come to a simmer, slowly pour them to the yolk mixture while whisking so that the egg won’t scramble.

20160223-210838-76118936.jpgPour them back into the saucepan then whisk constantly until the mixture thickens.

I mean.. Look at those vanilla bean specks. My kind of foodporn.

Anyway, cover the top with cling film touching the top of the pastry cream so a skin won’t form on the pastry cream. Chill it in the fridge.

20160223-211718-76638589.jpgNext up is the almond part. This part will need softened butter, brown and white sugar, almond powder, corn starch, egg, vanilla extract and rum.

20160223-214239-78159902.jpgThis part is all about mixing everything up. I even use the same bowl with the one I use to whisk the yolks for the pastry cream. Less dishes to wash, right?

Just combine the butter and sugar,
Whisk
Add the corn starch and almond powder,
Whisk
Then lastly the egg, vanilla and rum.

20160224-003738-2258892.jpgRemember the pastry cream we made earlier? It’s time to take them out once chilled. It’s gonna be stiff and looks like a blob of jelly, so just whisk it until it gets creamy again.

Again, I didn’t even bother to transfer the cream from the pan, just cover with cling fling then pop it into the fridge. Less dishes to wash! Seriously. Washing dishes is not a fun thing at least for me.

20160224-004133-2493960.jpgNow just combine the almond mixture with the pastry cream to make the frangipane.

20160224-012034-4834213.jpgI’ve wrote in the beginning that I’m using ready made puff pastry. Seriously, I don’t normally like to use ready made stuff, if I can make it my own, I will. But puff pastry from scratch is just a pain in the butt, also takes a long time.

20160224-012525-5125044.jpgSo here what I did with the puff pastry, I stick 2 sheets of puff pastry together just by brushing the surface with some water, then roll it thinner.

All I wanted to do was to double the layers of the puff. I made a set of those then cut it with a circle cutter.
So you’re going to have 2 circles of doubled puff pastry.
Prick the puff with a fork.

20160224-013330-5610842.jpgPut the frangipane filling in the middle then brush the sides with some egg wash.

20160224-013437-5677785.jpgNext up, put the other circle of puff pastry on top then just simply seal the edges.

20160224-194601-71161411.jpgI used a fork to make a scallop pattern on the edge of the galette. This will make the traditional edge of a galette des rois also helps to seal it better.

Although I did not do a very good job because a little bit of the filling ooze out. But it’s not a problem really.

20160224-200050-72050320.jpgSmear the top of the galette with an egg wash for a golden top.

20160224-211827-76707794.jpgScorch the top with the back of a knife. Here I made the traditional pattern but you can do any pattern you like.

And… Bake!

20160224-212250-76970555.jpgClassic french pastry is rustic but still taste out of this world. That’s why French pastries have a special place in my heart… ❤️
I love french pastries that much that I learn the language french.. Just because..

20160227-231006-83406373.jpgLook at that layers though! Yes I did notice that the middle of the galette curved… Here are my problems, I did not fill it enough because I was afraid that it will leak too much, and why? It’s because I made the filling way too runny.
Note to self, incorporate more pastry cream to almond cream….

20160227-231454-83694297.jpgBut this galette des rois taste amazing nevertheless. No doubt about that.

I glazed the top of the galette des rois with some honey (heated just until it’s runny enough to be brushed on top of the galette).

Don’t forget to crown the king or queen to whoever get the trinket or bean.

20160227-231738-83858357.jpgAnd I’m sure you want to see the inside so here you go! The almond filling with the crispy puff combination is the best. You can never go wrong with this one.

I’ve said it before and i’m gonna say it again, I LOVE french pastry with almond on it. Financier, almond croissant, frangipane tart, gâteau amandine, macarons.. Oh the list goes on.

20160227-233845-85125248.jpgHave a great one everybody!

20160227-234511-85511711.jpg

Galette des Rois recipe
Make 1 cake of 23 cm in diameter

Ingredients:
• 4 sheets puff pastry (20x20cm)

• 1 cup milk
• 1 vanilla pod/ 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 50 g white granulated sugar
• 3 egg yolks
• 10 g all-purpose flour
• 12 g corn starch

• 70 g unsalted butter (softened)
• 30 g white sugar
• 40 g brown sugar
• 1 pinch of salt
• 75 g almond powder
• 15 g cornstarch
• 1 egg
• 1 tbsp dark rum (optional)
• 1 tsp vanilla extract

• 1 egg (beaten for the egg wash)
• Honey/ agave nectar (heated slightly)

How to make:
1) Make the pastry cream: split vanilla bean then scrape out the seeds, put it into the milk pan then heat them up just until it comes to a simmer.

In another bowl whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch and flour.

Slowly stream the heated milk into the yolk mixture while whisking.

Strain the mixture right back into the pot (to remove the vanilla pod) then heat them back up while constantly whisking until the mixture has thickened.

Cover the top of the pastry cream with cling wrap (touching the surface of the pastry cream) then put it in the freezer to cool faster.

2) Make the almond cream: beat the softened butter with the white and brown sugar until fluffy then add the cornstarch, salt and almond powder, continue beating then add the egg, rum and vanilla, keep beating for 5 minutes or until the batter thickened slightly.

3) Whisk the chilled pastry cream until it gets creamy again then combine the pastry cream with the almond cream.

4) Brush a little water on 1 side of the puff pastry then stick another layer of it, dust with flour then roll it until it fits the round cutter. Then cut a circle of the puff pastry, prick them with fork all over the layer. Repeat with the other 2 layers or puff pastry.

5) On a baking paper, put 1 layer of puff then put the almond frangipane in the middle. Brush the side with egg wash then close the top with another layer of puff pastry. Push alongside the circle to seal then using a fork or a blunt knife, make scallop pattern by pushing the fork onto the sides of the galette des rois (see picture above).

6) Brush the top with egg wash then make the pattern of galette des rois on top.

7) Bake in a preheated oven at 200°C or 390°F for 20 minutes then lower the temperature to 190°C or 375°F for another 35 minutes or until golden brown all the way through.

8) Immediately brush the top with warm honey once out of the oven.

9) Serve warm and enjoy!

Pear Almond Tart

20160120-222517-80717677.jpgI love any french pastry that includes almond on it. I love macarons, financier, pithivier, any dessert with frangipane and also I can eat almond croissant for breakfast everyday (setting aside the calories). I love the flavours and the texture and everything about it.

Actually, I’ve made this pear almond tart around last october. I’ve been meaning to post it but another dishes comes up and I’ve been keeping this one in my archive.

Now it’s time to share this awesome dessert!

On to the cooking then.

20160124-022050-8450682.jpgFirst thing first is the pastry crust. I’ve made this a couple of time and I’ve explain the how to make the perfect buttery and crispy crust for the tart on my earl grey creme brûlée tartlets recipe.
But here I’ve decided to tweak the recipe a bit.

Start with some cold butter, sugar, salt, milk, egg yolk and flour.

20160124-022141-8501992.jpgCombine the sugar, salt, flour and butter in a bowl.

Now this part is my favourite thing to do in making shortcrust pastry…

20160124-022239-8559631.jpgWhich is rubbing the butter and flour together.
I have no idea why but I love love love to do this.

You need to combine it until it looks roughly like coarse sand.
I like to stop until most of the butter has been incorporated but there’s still some big chunks on it. Just to be sure I did not work the butter too much.. Need to keep it cold to make a great pastry.

20160124-022341-8621486.jpgNow that’s done, put in the yolk and mix them up.

Be sure not to over work it!

No one wants a tough base on their tart. Don’t knead it, so that the gluten doesn’t develop.

20160124-022831-8911661.jpgWrap the dough in some cling film them put in the fridge for 30 minutes.

This process helps to relax the dough, again, in order to not resulting in a tough pastry

20160124-022729-8849371.jpgOnce chilled, roll them into the desired thickness then fit it into a buttered and floured tart pan, prick the bottom of the base with fork to prevent the air being trap and making a bump on the base while baking.

Put it back into the fridge until needed

20160125-132951-48591334.jpgNow on to the poached pear.

The ingredients are super simple. You’ll need pears (of course), sugar, water, cinnamon and vanilla.

I would definitely recommend using cinnamon sticks but turns out I’m out of those. For the vanilla I’m using powdered vanilla which works great but if you want to use vanilla pods, it’s up to you, I just felt that it’s kind of a waste since we’re not using the seeds (won’t show anyway in the final product).

20160125-133424-48864309.jpgJust peel and core the pears, cut them in half, throw it into the saucepan with water, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon.

Boil it until the pears begin to soften.

20160125-133938-49178093.jpgMeanwhile the pears are cooking, let’s make the almond filling!

The ingredients to make the filling are eggs, almond powder, vanilla extract, rhum, corn flour, sugar and softened butter.

This part couldn’t be any easier, just dump everything in a bowl then whisk them until incorporated.

20160125-135301-49981155.jpgPour the almond filling into the tart case.

Cut the poached pears into quarters and slice them diagonally into thin slices, then arrange them immediately on top of the almond cream.

Got to be honest here, this is the first time I’ve made this pear almond tart in this size, usually I made some in personal sizes but I thought making big ones will look better in photo. Also it’s the first time I’m using this tart pan. So.. As you may notice, the almond filling just fills up half of the pan. I just realise that the tart pan’s side is that high and I end up not having enough almond filling.

Anyway, The recipe below is for the portion of slightly shallower tart pan, you can see the size below.

20160125-144155-52915886.jpgBake the pear almond tart until golden brown and I put some glaze on top of the whole thing, especially on the pears to make it extra shiny.

For the glaze I’m using some mirror glaze. But you can use apricot jam, marmalade or honey mix with a bit of water just to make it easier to apply, but it won’t be as shiny though.

And dust with icing sugar!

20160125-144512-53112546.jpgAnyway, this photo was taken before I got into the real food photography stuff. Before I use any props to enhance the photo. Still the good ‘ol fashion photo of food.

20160125-145600-53760081.jpgLook at how shiny it is! I just wish I’ve got enough fillings to fill it all the way up.

I wouldn’t mind a thick filling of almond cream… Loooooooove almonds in french pastry.

20160125-145804-53884069.jpgI’m sure you want to see the inside of the pear almond tart. Here you go!

I hate how when I watch or read a recipe that seem so good but they don’t show how it look on the inside… Why?! Why are you torturing me?! Let me see the filling!!

But of course, as a fellow food blogger, I kinda know why not.. Some of the possible reasons are either it doesn’t look as good as the outside, or they forgot to take a picture of it, or the pictures are bad so they decided not to post it, or it was meant to be for someone (how can you give someone a cake that has been cut?), probably so much more reasons.

I guess what I’m saying is that I wish to see the inside of the food and don’t like if they don’t show it, but I might do it later in the future (or any previous post) so as a disclaimer I’m just putting it out there.

20160125-205603-75363733.jpgOh yeah, you can see the buttery crispy crust with the sweet vanilla and rhum almond filling and cinnamon poached pear… All comes together to one rustic piece of pie….

20160125-205900-75540046.jpgA piece of pear almond tart for you and the rest is for me.

20160127-101554-36954116.jpgHave a great one everybody!

20160127-101640-37000545.jpg

Pear Almond tart recipe
Makes 1 tart diameter of 23cm height 2cm

Crust ingredients:
• 200g pastry flour
• 1tsp salt
• 60g sugar
• 75g unsalted butter (cold)
• 1 egg yolk
• 25-30 ml milk (use 25 first, if need more add the rest)

Filling ingredients:
For the poached pears:
• 2 pears
• 80g sugar
• 1 cup water
• 1 cinnamon stick
• ½ tsp vanilla powder/ 1 tsp vanilla extract/ ½ vanilla pod

For the almond cream:
• 100g unsalted butter (room temperature)
• 100g almond powder
• 10g corn flour
• 80g powdered sugar
• 1 egg
• 2 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 tbsp dark rhum

Decoration:
• to glaze: mirror glace/ apricot jam/ marmalade/ honey (diluted with a bit of water)
• powdered sugar

How to make:
Make the base:
1) Combine flour, salt and sugar in a bowl then add the cold butter, rub them together until resembles coarse sand. Add the egg yolk and milk, mix just until combined, wrap the dough in cling film, put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
2) Butter and flour the tart pan. Roll the chilled dough then fit it into the pan, prick the bottom base with fork then put in the fridge until ready to use.
Poach the pears:
3) Peel and core the pears then cut in half.
4) Combine the sugar, water, cinnamon and vanilla then the pears.
5) Boil just until the pears start to soften. Once boiled, let cool to touch.
Make the almond cream:
6) Cream the butter then add the almond, corn flour and sugar, beat until combined and creamy.
7) Add the egg, vanilla and rhum, mix until combined
Assembly:
8) Pour the almond cream into the tart shell.
9) Cut the pear halfs into quarter then slice horizontally into thin slices.
10) Put directly on top of the almond cream, repeat until full circle.
11) Bake at 180°C or 360°F for 30-40 minutes until the almond cream is golden brown.
Finishing:
12) Take out, let cool slightly then brush the top (especially the pears) with the glaze of your choice.
13) Put a plate smaller than the pan in the middle then sift some powdered sugar on the sides.

Warm Caramel Apple Crumble

20151112-015032-6632676.jpgAutumn is here. I looove autumn. It’s getting cold outside, the fall clothing collection is my favourite, and not to forget all the comfort food to eat in the cold weather.
And sure enough this warm caramel apple crumble is one of it. It is warm and gooey because of the caramel, and it has a crunchy top thanks to the crumble. This is to die for.

And plus apple is such a fall fruit. Well, I nearly forgot since there are more than enough recipes with pumpkin that symbolize fall but don’t forget about the apples!

Enough talking and let’s get to baking, shall we?

20151112-104426-38666901.jpgFirst thing first is to make the caramel sauce.
In that pan there’s sugar, corn syrup (to prevent the sugar to crystallize back up) and pour in some water.

Sure you can use store bought caramel sauce or canned dulce de leche but seriously, making caramel is easy, don’t waste your money on something loaded with coloring and preservatives.

20151112-104839-38919350.jpgBring them to a boil until the desired caramel color has been reached

20151112-105014-39014368.jpgPour in cream (be careful it will steam so watch your hand), then stir until the sugar and the cream has combined.
Add in butter and salt to make salted caramel.

A bit of tips, don’t leave your caramel unattended. I thought I can leave it for a moment to prep all the other ingredients. Notice that I changed my pan? Yep, I burnt the first batch of caramel. Silly me.

20151112-105508-39308170.jpgNext up, crumble.
All you need is flour, sugar and butter.

20151115-140406-50646985.jpgA crumble is a crumble for a reason, so just crumble it up!
I used my hands and just rubbing the butter with the flour and sugar until it form clumps like wet sand. But if you like, you can use a food processor, a pastry cutter or like me, your hands.

And just like that, you got your crumble ready to rumble (I need to say sorry here, bad pun, I know. Can’t get it off of my head until I wrote it)

20151115-140223-50543897.jpgNow on to apples. I used Granny Smith apples. You could use any cooking apples of your choice, I just like to use granny smith because it has some tartness that will go great with the sweet caramel.

Also, granny smith doesn’t brown too quickly because of the tartness content on it. So, once you’ve cut it, just work quickly then you don’t need to add any lemon juice or anything to stop it from browning.

20151115-140944-50984258.jpgCut the apples.
I prefer it thinly sliced so it cooks faster too, but feel free to cut it anyway you like.
It’s your comfort food! Make it however you want.

20151117-011926-4766494.jpgOne more step to go before this ooey gooey caramel apple goes straight to the oven (and then into the mouth)

Heat some butter in an ovenproof pan.
I used salted butter here, but if you don’t, I would recommend putting about a pinch of salt in it with the apples to pop more of the flavours.

20151117-011508-4508828.jpgSauté the apples in medium heat just to draw some of the moistures out so that the caramel stays gooey once baked with the apples.

20151117-011712-4632365.jpgI sprinkle in some cinnamon, this would be a good time to sprinkle in the salt if you’re not using salted butter.

You can omit the cinnamon if you want, but I feel like cinnamon gives an even more “comfort food” feeling to a dish.

20151117-190253-68573413.jpgOnce all the cinnamon has evenly distributed, pour in the salted caramel. Stir it a bit to make sure all the apples got coated with caramel.

20151117-190517-68717117.jpgTop the caramel apples with the crumble.
Again, it’s up to you if you want it to have big chunks or not.

Now off to the oven it goes!

20151117-192228-69748409.jpgI sprinkle some toasted almonds to add even more crunch. Warm, gooey, sweet and salty caramel apple crumble.
Such a comfort food.

20151118-100441-36281013.jpgComfort food to me is something that is easy to eat, and easy to make.
That is why this recipe is tweakable. You can make it your own.

20151118-100847-36527327.jpgScoop a big portion, oh yeah, I would recommend to eat this with (preferably) vanilla ice cream. HEAVEN.
But I was out of ice cream at the time so yeah.
I mean, it’s good just as it is, but you know… Ice cream makes everything better.

20151118-101235-36755668.jpgFyi, I only put them on a plate just for the photo. In reality, I just scoop them straight out of the pan and gobble it up.

20151118-101525-36925762.jpgHave a good one everybody!

20151118-104144-38504301.jpg

Warm Caramel Apple Crumble Recipe
Makes about 20 cm in diameter cast iron pan

Ingredients:
Caramel Sauce
• 100g white sugar
• 1 tbsp corn syrup
• 30ml water
• 70ml heavy cream
• 30g unsalted butter butter
• 1 tsp salt

Crumble
• 50g butter
• 50g all purpose flour
• 30g icing sugar

Apples
• 2 granny smith apples
• 1 tbsp salted butter (or unsalted butter + a pinch of salt)
• a sprinkle of cinnamon
• Almonds (optional)

How to make:
Caramel Sauce
1) In a pot, combine sugar, corn syrup and water. Put on medium heat until it reaches the caramel colour you desired.
Brush the sides of the pan with cold water to prevent crystallization during the cooking time
2) Pour in the heavy cream, stir until all the sugar has combined.
Be careful of the steam once you’ve poured the cream
3) Turn off the heat, then stir in the butter and salt until all melted and combined.

Crumble
1) Combine the butter, flour and sugar in a bowl then start rubbing the butter until it resembles a wet sand consistency.

Apples
1) Peel and core the apples then cut them into thin slices.
2) Heat butter on a cast iron or oven proof pan, then sauté the apples until most of the moisture has gone.
3) Sprinkle the cinnamon then stir until combined.
4) Pour in the caramel then stir until all of the apples got coated.
5) Sprinkle the crumble on top of the apples.
6) Bake at 180°C or 350°F for 10 minutes then put on broiler for another 10 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
7) (Optional) Toast the almonds on a pan, keep stirring and tossing until light brown, sprinkle on top of the warm apple crumble.