Saturday, November 26, 2016

Matcha mousse tarts

How's November treating you so far ? 

Me ? Not so kindly *sigh* I'm a bit under the weather right now , the coughing fit that just won't stop !$#@*% ugh ! 

But that didn't stop me from enjoying some of these pretty drool-worthy goodies ! Ha ! 

Hey , I'm not mean , I donated some to Meanie ! 

These mousse tarts look pretty complicated to make , right ? Not ! Just an extra step by using a dome-shaped silicon moulds to create these sweet-looking tarts . Unlike some mousse tarts that uses mousse rings and easier to remove after chilling in the fridge , these tarts need to freeze first until solid so that you can easily remove each piece . You're actually looking at the tarts that have been removed after 2 hours and 15 minutes of freezing , you can see that most of them are not neat and smooth . So , have patience and freeze at least for 4 hours  ! Remember , Rome wasn't built in a day ! 

Making these tarts though can be time-consuming , you need to make the cookie crust , the strawberry puree to make the jelly and the mousse itself which is a combination of thin custard , Swiss meringue and whipped cream . On Swiss meringue , you can just make a regular meringue for this recipe but I was a bit under the weather when I made these tarts and I don't want to eat raw egg thus this type of meringue .

Time-consuming aside , these pretty-looking tarts are so worth it ! 

Cough ! Cough ! 

Darn it ! 

Matcha cookie crust , recipe adapted here

Makes 6 tarts plus 1 tart using a stainless steel mousse ring

50 grams icing sugar 
30 grams almond powder 
8 grams green tea powder 
90 grams cake flour 
60 grams unsalted butter , cubed and cold 
1 egg yolk 

* Sift icing sugar , almond powder , green tea , and cake flour into a mixing bowl , tip in lumps that sits on the sieve into the bowl . Add in the butter and use fingertips to mix ingredients together until it resembles a coarse breadcrumbs . Add in the yolk and use a spatula to mix until dough is cohesive . Knead dough gently 4 times and form into a smooth ball . Flatten dough a bit then wrap it with plastic wrap . Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour preferably , overnight . 

* Take out dough from the fridge , let dough soften a bit before rolling between 2 sheets of floured plastic wrap . Roll dough into 3 mm thick , cut out seven 7-cm circle and cut the rest with a small flower-shaped cookie cutter . Transfer each piece on a silicon-lined baking sheet . Freeze for at least 20 minutes before baking . 

* Preheat oven to 180ºC . Bake for 10 to 14 minutes . The ones in the photo below are over-baked by almost 2 minutes . Cool cookies on a wire rack then place in an airtight container until needed . Make this a day ahead . This recipe is suitable for an 18-cm / 7-inches tart , possibly with scraps . 

Matcha mousse , recipe adapted here 

5 grams gelatin sheet 
100 grams milk 
7 grams matcha powder
1 yolk 
1 egg white 
60 grams caster sugar , divided 
100 grams whipping cream

* Prepare a 6-cavity silicone mousse pan ( 7-cm diameter and 4.5 depth ) plus 1 mousse ring 

* Soak gelatin in cold water for 10 minutes . 

* Pour milk in a small saucepan and add in the matcha powder , whisk to break up lumps . Turn heat to low and heat the mixture , don't boil .

* In a small bowl , whisk together the yolk and 30 grams of the caster sugar until mixture is pale and fluffy . Pour the warm matcha milk mixture gradually into the yolk mixture mixing as you pour to prevent curdling . Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over low heat until you'll have a thin custard , about 12 minutes or until temperature has reached 85ºC . Turn off heat , squeeze off excess water from soften gelatin and add in to the hot custard , stir until gelatin is dissolved completely . Transfer to a heat-proof bowl and let cool to room temperature . 

* To make the meringue : In a mixing bowl , whisk together the egg white and the remaining 30 grams of caster sugar . Place bowl on top of the pot with barely simmering water , whisk until sugar is dissolved completely . Take out bowl from the heat and beat the mixture with an electric beater until stiff peaks form , set aside . 

* Beat cream until soft peaks form , set aside . 

* When the matcha custard has cooled , add in the cream and mix until well combined . Fold in the meringue and mix well . 

* Pour mixture into a 6-cavity silicon mould , leaving a space for the jelly . Chill in the fridge until set . 

Strawberry puree

Yield : 180 grams 

375 grams frozen strawberries
60 grams sugar 
1 tsp calamansi juice 
1 tsp strawberry paste 

* Place strawberries , sugar and juice into a small saucepan . Turn heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes until mixture thickens and the berries are very soft . Strain mixture into a bowl , using a spoon to push strawberries against the sieve , extracting as much liquid as you can . Stir in 1 tsp strawberry paste , set aside to cool then chill in the fridge until needed . Make this a day ahead . 

Strawberry jelly , recipe adapted here

5 grams gelatin sheet 
100 grams strawberry puree 
40 grams caster sugar
40 grams drinking water 

* Soak gelatin in a cold water until soft for 10 minutes . 

* Combine the puree , sugar and water in a small saucepan , turn heat to medium and stir until sugar is dissolved , 2 minutes . Turn off heat , squeeze off excess water from the soften gelatin then add in to puree mixture , stir until gelatin is dissolved completely . Transfer to a small bowl and let cool to room temperature .

* When jelly has cooled , pour on the top of the chilled matcha mousse . Let set in the fridge , about 20 minutes or so before putting the mould in the freezer . Freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight . 

To assemble the tarts : 

* Take out mould from the freezer , gently remove each mousse from the cavity and place each on top of the prepared matcha cookie crust .

* Thaw tarts in fridge before serving , at least 1 hour .

To serve : 

6 flower-shaped matcha cookies 
6 Pocky midi-matcha 
some Nutella , to keep the decorations on top of the mousse from sliding / falling off

* Dab a bit of Nutella at the bottom one cookie , place it on top of the mousse then spread another bit of Nutella on one side of the Pocky and gently press on top of the cookie . Repeat with the rest .

* Take photos , eat and enjoy !!! 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Banana-green tea muffins

Somewhere in other parts of the world , people are in a tizzy over their Thanksgiving spread .....

Meanwhile , somewhere in Hongkong ......

This is my to-go banana muffin recipe whenever bananas are on sale at the supermarket . I seldom buy this fruit for eating , I like banana just fine but eating it for 3 days straight is not my cup of tea .

As with most Nigella's recipes , this one is a keeper . I've tried substituting the original cocoa powder with Milo ( I added 50 grams but the flavour was muted ) and so far , my favourite is the green tea version . As you can see from the photos , muffins look really tall which I really like , just like the ones they're selling in some bakeries here . But unlike most store-bought muffins , this version is wonderfully-soft and full of green tea flavour .

As with most muffin recipe , don't over mix the batter . I found that sifting the dry ingredients into the the wet resulted in less lumpy batter . I'm using a table top oven , so I can only bake 1 pan / 6 muffins at a time resulting in not so uniform muffins . I used 2 sizes of liners and the muffins baked in taller liners tend to look better ( see photo below , first 6 one from the top ) . 

Please check original  @ Nigella

Makes about 15 muffins 

225 grams all-purpose flour 
15 grams green tea powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
400 grams ( peeled weight ) ripe or overripe bananas , mashed plus extra for topping ( optional ) 
100 grams ( rice bran ) oil 
125 grams light brown sugar 
2 large eggs , at room temperature 

demerara or crystal sugar for topping , optional

* Preheat oven to 200ºC . 

* Line muffin pan with liners , set aside .

* Combine flour , green tea powder and baking soda in a small mixing bowl , set aside . 

* Combine bananas , oil and sugar in a large bowl and use whisk until well combined . Add in the eggs and whisk for about 1 minute . Sift in the flour mixture into the banana mixture and stir until  just combined .

* Spoon mixture into the prepared muffin pan , about three fourths full , top with some banana slices and sprinkle with crystal sugar , if using . 

* Bake for 20 minutes or until bamboo skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean . Leave muffins for 10 minutes in the pan then take out and let cool completely on a wire rack .