Saturday, September 14, 2019

Calamansi and salted caramel tartlets

When life gives you calamansi...

Back home in #Duterteland, calamansi is a popular choice when making a refreshing juice, marinades, dipping sauce to name a few; it's cheap and can be found anywhere, well, almost...

And just like lemon or lime, calamansi is also widely (?) use in baking.

This is a calamansi version of the tarte au citron, a French lemon tart. 

So, what's the difference between the French version and the classic lemon tart?!

Yup, you've guessed it right! Spin a win!!! 

Butter makes the French version a stand out. It is buttery, rich and tempered with the perfect tanginess of the calamansi.

And also unhealthy! 

Hey, you only live once....

The filling of this tart is basically a calamansi curd that has been cooked with butter (okay, lots of it to clog your arteries). Some version is to add softened butter after you've cooked the mixture but cooking it together saves time and effort considering the amount of it. I did reduced the amount of butter, from 140 grams to a respectable 90 grams. You can either bake the tart at 180ºC for 5-8 minutes to set the curd or just chill it for for at least 2 hours before serving.

I also added a layer of salted caramel sauce for flavour contrast.

Topping is supposedly a meringue but I over whipped it and and the result looks like a scrambled egg whites tsk! Good thing I've got frozen raspberries and mint leaves 🙄

Salted caramel sauce

115 grams whipping cream
140 grams sugar
30 grams (drinking) water
20 grams butter, cubed and softened
1.5 grams fine sea salt

* In a small saucepan, bring cream to a boil; keep warm.

* In another saucepan, combine sugar and water, shake pan gently to evenly distribute the sugar. Cook over medium heat, shaking the pan from time to time, for 6-8 minutes until the colour turn into golden brown or amber. Take pan off heat, add the warm cream gradually, whisking the caramel until smooth. Add in the butter and salt, mix until well combined. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before pouring in the prepared sterilized jar. Let cool completely. Chill in the fridge until needed. Make this a day ahead.

Yield: 225 grams

Pâte sucrée, recipe adapted from French Pastry 101 (slightly tweaked)

85 grams cold butter, cubed
150 grams cake flour or plain flour, sifted
60 grams powdered/icing sugar, sifted
30 grams almond powder
2 grams fine sea salt
30 grams (lightly beaten) whole egg, chilled
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

* In a mixing bowl or clean work surface, combine butter, flour, sugar, almond powder and salt. Use fingers to rub ingredients together until you have a texture like a coarse breadcrumbs. Add in the beaten egg and vanilla, stir with a spatula until liquid in absorbed; gather together to form a cohesive dough and gently knead 4-6 times until dough is smooth. Place in a plastic wrap and form into a 5-inch square. Chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours before using.

* Lightly grease six 8-cm and two 5.5cm tart rings, place them on a baking sheet. Pâte sucrée recipe will nicely fit in eight tart rings or a 9-inch fluted tart pan.

* Roll dough, between 2 sheets of lightly-floured parchment paper, into 2-3mm thick. Line each tart ring with dough, scraping the excess from the top with a knife, re-roll if necessary. If the dough becomes soft, place in the fridge to firm it up before working with it again.

* Freeze for 1 hour. Take out from the freezer and line the surface with parchment paper, add in some baking weights on top and freeze for another 20 minutes before baking.

* Preheat oven to 180ºC.

* Blind bake for 22 minutes until top is slightly golden. Take out tarts from the oven and carefully removed the baking weights. Bake for another 8 minutes. Let cool completely before using.

* Colour of the baked pâte sucrée is a bit darker in real life.

Calamansi curd filling:

2 large egg plus 1 large yolk
115 grams sugar
100 grams freshly-squeezed calamansi juice
2 grams calamansi zest
90 grams butter, cubed

* In a small saucepan, combine the eggs, yolk and the sugar, whisk until mixture is light and smooth. Stir in the juice and zest; add in the butter.

* Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly to avoid scorching the bottom, for 6-8 minutes, at 85ºC/185ºF. Strain curd over a fine wire-mesh sieve and let cool for 10-15 minutes before using.

To assemble the tartlets:

* Place 15 grams of salted caramel in each tart ring and 10 grams in smaller ones. Pour in the cooled calamansi curd on top. Chill in the fridge to set for at least 2 hour or so.

* Decorate with raspberries, mint leaves and some milk Crispearls. Serve straight from the fridge. Best eaten the day the tart is made but leftover can be stored inside the fridge in an airtight container. Consume within 3 days.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Salted egg yolk chicken wings

A moment on the lips, forever on the hips.

I'm probably late on this salted egg yolk craze but better late than never...

By now, you've probably heard or even eaten salted (duck) egg yolk fish skin or chips....

Or the crisp-fried lizards in packets of salted egg fish skin in Singapore?!

If not, where the hell have you been?!  🤣 

Salted egg yolk is a popular ingredient in Chinese cooking, from soups to traditional baked mooncakes and now the ubiquitous salted egg yolk fish skin or chip snacks which exploded in Singapore's food scene 2 years ago. 

And there's of course, the salted egg yolk fried chicken, an Asian-inspired take of the ever popular poultry. Fried wings are simply coated with rich and creamy egg yolk sauce. Original recipe calls for 20 curry leaves but I can't find it here so I sub it with both lime zest and Thai basil. 

Recipe adapted from MeatMen

15 pieces chicken wings or 600 grams boneless whole chicken legs, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 egg, beaten
120 grams sweet potato starch or potato starch
Cooking oil, for deep-frying
2-3 bird's eye chillis, sliced
Zest of 2 limes
10 pieces Thai basil
40 grams butter

Marinade for chicken:

3/4 tsp coarse sea salt
1/2 tsp raw sugar
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
1 tsp cooking sake or Chinese rice wine

Salted egg yolk sauce:

6 egg yolks
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced ginger

* Marinate chicken for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight in the fridge (or 1 hour, if using boneless chicken pieces). Take out chicken from the fridge and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before using.

* Add beaten egg to the marinated chicken. Set aside.

* Prepare salted egg yolk sauce: Steam egg yolks over medium heat for 10 minutes. Once cooked,  push yolks through a fine-wire mesh sieve to get a smooth texture or mash with fork (or potato masher) as fine as you can.

* Heat oil in a wok or pan over medium heat, add the mashed salted egg yolks and stir fry until foamy, about 3-6 minutes. Add in the garlic and ginger and fry until fragrant, about 1 minute. Dish out and set aside.

* Coat chicken with potato starch, shaking out excess.

* Heat enough oil for deep-frying. Fry chicken in batches for 8-10 minutes or until cooked through. Place in a wire rack to drain excess oil, set aside.

* In a clean pan, heat 2 tsp oil over medium heat, add chillis, lime zest and basil. Stir fry for about 30 seconds, add in butter and egg yolk sauce and fry until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add in the fried wings and toss until evenly coated with the sauce. Dish up and serve. Best eaten with rice.