Berry Barque

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Reminding me about the pâtisserie shops in Paris, the Parisian are so proud of their patisserie because of their passionate and love with their culinary. I must say if you have the easy access to good patisserie, I don’t see any reason you won’t fall in love with. The recipe was picked up on the TV show that Michel Roux and Marry Berry was preparing these little beautiful pastry.

This really make me feels like a French pâtissier, patisserie is the work of art for the pâtissier that created with a flawless not only the taste is good, and is really great to look at too. Eventually walking in streets of Paris whenever I saw a patisserie shop even at the opposite road I could traverse and just to have a look at it, because it is like my favorite masterpiece of Mona Lisa was stolen and hung in the shop for sell!

I have a recipe just for the occasion that you need for dinner party of tea time treat. I used my classic sweet pastry. (refer to my previous post of humble mince pie)

For the filling, I used crème pâtissière (pastry cream, the reason, it taste nicer and the fruit can sitting in creamlike soft sponge and it holds the fruits)

  • 120g egg yolks (approximately 6 medium egg yolks)
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 40g corn flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla exact
  • 500ml whole milk
  1. For the crème pâtissière, whisk the egg yolks with sugar until pale and thick, then whisk in the corn flour.
  2. Add the vanilla into the milk and bring to boil then switch off the heat.
  3. Pour the milk in a slow stream onto the egg mixture, whisking vigorously all the time. (Pour slowly to avoid scrambling the egg)
  4. Return the mixture to a clean pot over a medium heat and whisk continuously. Make sure to scrape the sides and the bottom, otherwise it will burn.
  5. The cream will start to thicken. Once it release a bubble or two, take it off the heat.
  6. Pour into a shallow bowl. Cover with cling film (pat the cling film so it sticks directly on to the cream) letting it cool before put in the fridge. Refrigerate for at least an hour before using.

To give the fruit a better shine, warm a jar of apricot jam in saucepan in low heat, do keep your eye on it, no one like the burnt sugar taste, once the jam had warm through then use a pastry brush to brush the arranged fruit.

I like the size of this shape it is much easy as a bite size, usually fruit tattler is in round shape. It is not elegance as this one.

Tips: The jam will thicken as it cool down, you can add little bit of water and warm it through again, to mix the water and jam then continue to brush the fruit again.

 

 

Angel food cake with lemon curd

IMG_1130ALook at this cake, not having a smooth side, imperfection decoration, simply because I don’t have the patient to decorate the cake or making it smooth. It is just beyond me! I think the way this cake looks will tells you it is home made.

Most people will have an answer said this is chiffon cake base, eventually it is not chiffon but angel food cake base. There are three basic cake commonly use as base. Sponge cake, chiffon, angel food cake. Three of them content light airy interior.

Sponge cake, made with butter, sugar, flour, eggs. It contain whole eggs Their leavening comes only from beaten egg whites (no baking powder or soda), and they have little or no butter. Is very common with eggy,  yellowish, crumble texture, light as well. It is a versatile cake that you could add any flavour.

Chiffon cake, made with eggs, sugar, flour, water and vegetable oil but no butter. It is very light, slightly dry if you just eating the cake itself. Chiffon cakes are light like sponge cakes, but the egg whites are not beaten separately. Chiffon cakes also generally contain oil so they are more tender and moist than sponge cake.

Is an obsession throughout South-east Asia, in Japan there are whole bakeries devoted to it. Chinese schoolchildren eat it as a snack. In the Philippines the ability to turn out airy chiffon is the test of a good home cook. Yet few in Britain know about it, despite our collective love of cake. I remembered when I was a kids, I had green pandan (pandanus amaryllifolius or screwpine leave) chiffon cake, it is very soft, spongy, dry. Often it made me choke when I eating it too quickly, simply because it is tasty. Most housewife in Asia would perfecting this chiffon cake recipe and by making them as light as possible, adding flavouring in it.

Angel food cake, made with egg whites, sugar and flour. It is even lighter than chiffon cake, Angel food cakes have no fat or leavening (such as baking powder). They are leavened with beaten egg whites and they have a high proportion of egg white to flour.

The following recipe was adopted from Mary Berry that made it at Master class of the Great British Baked-Off. I think this cake make a good center piece on your dinner party. You will need a special mould for this cake 25cm angel food cake pan or chiffon pan

Cake ingredients

  • 125g plain flour
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 10 large free-range egg whites
  • 2 large lemon, grated zest only
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • ½ tsp salt

Lemon curd ingredients (this makes more lemon curd than you need for this cake)

  • 10 large free-range egg yolks
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 4 large lemons, juice only (±200ml)
  • 2 large lemons, grated zest only
  • 175g unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 passion fruit

Topping

  • 300ml whipping cream
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 (fan 160C) and arrange an oven shelf in the bottom third of the oven. Sift the flour and 100g/3½oz of the caster sugar together in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl with an electric hand whisk or mixer on a high speed for one minute until frothy. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, cream of tartar and salt and continue whisking for 2-3 minutes, or until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed from the bowl. Increase the speed and add the remaining 200g/7oz of caster sugar, one tablespoon at a time to form firm, but not stiff peaks.
  3. Sprinkle over one-third of the flour mixture and fold gently to combine. Repeat with the remaining two-thirds of the flour mixture folding gently to keep as much air in the mixture as possible.
  4. Transfer the batter to a 25cm/10in angel food cake pan. Gently run a knife through the centre of the batter to remove any pockets of air. Cook for 45-50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  5. Remove from the oven and immediately turn upside down onto the tin’s cooling legs, or place over the neck of a wine bottle. Leave to cool for at least one hour.
  6. Run a knife around the inner and outer edges of cake to remove it from the pan. Invert onto a plate. Carefully use a palette knife to separate the cake from the base of the pan. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
  7. For the lemon curd, mix the egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest together in a large pan. Cook over a low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, making sure to stir the sides and base of the pan. Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Pass through a sieve into a large jug. Fill two 350g/12oz glass jars with the lemon curd and seal with lids. Cover the remaining curd with cling film and leave to cool.
  8. For the topping, whisk the cream and vanilla extract in a bowl until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed. Spoon the topping over the angel food cake and, using a palette knife, coat the top and sides of the cake, smoothing as you go.
  9. Cut the passion fruit in half and scoop out the seeds. Stir the passion fruit into the reserved, cooled lemon curd and drizzle over the angel food cake before serving. You may want to use just one of the jars of lemon curd to serve with the cake and save the other to eat separately.

Note: Do not be tempted to grease the tin – it will prevent the cake from rising properly. If you want to cut back on fat or have a dairy intolerance, this is a great cake to make. The cake itself doesn’t contain any butter and you can easily swap the toppings for a fruit syrup or jam if you want to make it completely dairy-free. The egg yolks are used up in a job lot of lemon curd, but you could always buy in a good jar lemon curd and save your yolks for another use.

 

 

 

 

Egg in sunset

IMG_0003AInspired from Nigella‘s recipe of Eggs in Purgatory, I should probably have to rename it. I think is a bit sad to say the sun is in hell. The egg in the middle is burning from the fiery red of the tomatoes.

It reminds me about the sun set at home when I was on holiday. The scene has the velvet red with golden yellow sun that smear out to the redness. Wonderful sunset I had seen. Just like this dish exactly the same colour obviously in different approach. My sun in this dish was not show is simply because it had dive into the gorgeously red tomato.

The key ingredient is egg and tomato, first, heat up some garlic oil in small pan (or you could use olive oil and grating a clove of garlic into it) then add a bit of chili flakes if you like some heat as I do; or you could just add some herbs such as a spring rosemary anything you like. Don’t let the garlic and herbs burn, what you need is to infused the flavour into the oil.

Now here is the sunset you about going to create it on your own. Open a can of chopped tomato and pour it in then let it cook and reduce the liquid a bit (you don’t want it too runny) about 2-3 minutes. I added some freshly grated Parmesan about 2 tablespoon, What the Parmesan did is simply replacing the salt and adding more flavour to the tomato. Here comes the sun crack one egg in the middle of the pan, don’t let the egg yolk sunk into the sauce (that is the reason you need to reduce the liquid), clam on the lid and let the egg pouch until the egg white is just cooked, yolk is still bit runny. Then remove it from the heat. Et voilà!

The moment of truth, you can choose to diving in with bread, it will helps you to wipe and clean the pan, definitely good choice to save up your elbow grease later for the washing up. There are something about this dish, it is truly satisfied, rewarding when you feeling like hell!

 

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Egg & Soldiers

P1150472AEgg and soldiers is one of those easy breakfast for everyone. I can’t remember when was the last time I had this, but this classic breakfast is very simple to prepare and enjoy. No fuss at all, is depending on how did you like the egg to be.

I like the egg just set on the white and the yolk is gooey and soft, I sprinkle some coarse sea salt everytime I dip in the soldier, the gooey yolk over flow over the shell. Hmmmm! That is a really a joy for the day.

  1. Bring water to boil in a saucepan, when the water is boiling put in the matchstick. The reason to put the matchstick when the boiling water may crack the egg.  so the matchstick is to cling the white if it does happen. Boil the egg about 4 minutes,.
  2. While that is happening toast the bread and butter it then cut into strips for dipping into the egg later.
  3. After 4 minutes remove the egg from the boiling water and place onto the egg cup, cut the top off.
  4. Sprinkle some coarse sea salt before you dip in the “soldier”.

That is the real good breakfast you willaddicted to it. I promised!

Lemon Madeira with Berries

P1150174A Cake lover will definitely love this small and yet fabulously to eat. I made this for my friend request something new from the tradition patisserie.

I made lemon madeira and sandwich it with home made lemon curd, topped with crème pâtissière and fresh raspberry and blackberry. I love the colour of berries shine on the cake and look very summer and sunshine too.

As I loved madeira cake on its own, the golden-yellow colour with crack usually (but this I had it remove to assemble to be a sandwich cake. If you would like to try just the madeira cake on its own, here is the full recipe for this cake. You could just stop where the cake is finished to cool, but I can’t stop myself to develop  more and make it interesting.

Madeira cake:

  • 240g unsalted butter, softened
  • 200g caster sugar,plus extra for sprinkling
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon
  • 3 large eggs
  • 210 self-raising flour (you can use plain flour with 21g of baking powder)
  • 90g plain flour
  • Fresh raspberry and blackberry

Lemon curd:

  • Grated zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon
  • A pinch of salt
  • 40g sugar
  • 45g butter
  • 2 egg yolks

Crème pâtissière:

  • 3 large egg yolks (roughly 60g)
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 20g Cornstarch
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract
  • 250ml whole milk
  1. To make the lemon curd, put the lemon zest and juice, salt, sugar and butter into a small saucepan and heat gently until the sugar and butter have melted.
  2. Remove from the heat. Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl, then add to the pan and whisk vigorously. Return the pan to a low heat and whisk constanly as the curd starts to thicken.
  3. Don’t stop whisking or the egg will curdle (if the curd starts heat and pass the curd through a sieve into a bowl.
  4. Place cling film in direct contact with the curd and refrigerate for at least an hour, or overnight.
  5. To make the cake. Preheated oven of 170ºC. Grease and line two 12cm round spring form cake tins.
  6. Cream the butter and sugar, and add the lemon zest. Add the eggs one at a time with a tablespoon of the flour for each.
  7. Then gently mix in the rest of the flour and finally, the lemon juice. Sprinkle with caster sugar (roughly 2 tablespoons should do it)
  8. Bake  for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until a cake taster comes out clean. Remove to wire rack and let it cool in the tin before turning out.
  9. To make the creme patissiere. Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until light and thick, then whisk in the cornstarch.
  10. In saucepan add the vanilla extract into milk, bring the milk to a boil and switch off the heat.
  11. Pour the milk in a slow stream on to the egg mixture, whisking vigorously all the time.
  12. Return the mixture to a clean pot and continuously whisk over a medium heat. Make sure to scrape theside and  bottom of the pan, otherwise it will burn. The cream will start to thicken. Once it release a bubble or two, take it off the heat.
  13. Pour on to a tray lined with clig film. Cover with cling film (pat the clig film so it sticks directly on to the cream) and refrigerate for at least an hour before using.
  14. When the cake is cool, level the cake by cut off the uneven top then spread the lemon curd onto one of the cake, sandwich another one on top.
  15. Spread the creme patissiere on top of the cake then top with raspberry and blackberry.  Done!

I hope this recipe bring a really enjoyment on your table. Have fun!

Spiral Cookies

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Fancy little biscuit, I love the spiral design that is very inviting to have a bite on it. This is a simple biscuit that anyone can make at home. I keep these in an airtight biscuit tin for my pleasure of coffee and tea during the afternoon, as TV snack or a naughty midnight nibble!

  1. Grease a baking sheet and line it with non-stick baking paper.
  2. Sift the flour with the vanilla sugar (if using) on pastry board. Make a well in the centre. Place the butter in the well with the sugar, egg yolks, vanilla extract (if using) and the lemon rind. Knead the ingredients together quickly without overworking, and divide the dough into two equal portions. Incorporate the cocoa into one portion and work it in briefly.
  3. Wrap the two portions in aluminium foil and leave to rest in cool place, or in the least cold part of the refrigerator, for at least 1 hour.
  4. Roll out each piece into sheet a 3mm thick.
  5. Cut each sheet into rectangles of 20 x 10 cm. (You may need to cut one sheet 20cm x 10cm, then roll out what’s left to 3mm thick again, then cut another 20cm x 10cm sheet)
  6. You should now have 2 cocoa sheets and 2 plain sheets, 3mm thick, and 20 x 10 cm each.
  7. Place 1 chocolate rectangle on top of each plain rectangle, offsetting the top layer by 5 mm from the end at lengthways.
  8. Roll up the rectangles, quite tightly, to make a cylinder that will be 10cm long when rolled up.
  9. When rolled up, gently smooth the 3mm thick edge into the cylinder to make the cylinder nice and round.
  10. Wrap each cylinder in a sheet of aluminium foil and leave to rest in the least cold part of the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Remove from the refrigerator and unwrap.
  11. Gently cut the cylinders into 5 mm thick slices with a sharp knife.
  12. You should now have about 40 pieces of 5mm thick slices ready to be baked.
  13. Preheat your oven to 180°C
  14. Arrange the slices on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden.
  15. Remove them from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes, then with a spatula, remove them carefully from the baking sheet and transfer to a wire rack until completely cool.