Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Matcha brioche feuilletée/ flaky matcha brioche

Baking my way through my longggggg to-bake list!

Brioche feuilletée is basically an enriched bread made almost the same way as danish or croissants. Butter block is encased in a brioche dough, rolled and folded several times to create flaky layers.

Brioche is a French pastry similar to an enriched bread, it has a higher egg and butter content to give it a tender crumbs.

How to make a brioche that will stay soft for days?! Okay, maybe 3 days because obviously at that time, even crumbs are all but a memory....

The secret is all in the kneading, okay, not a secret really. If you're into Asian-style bread and most of those bread are enriched meaning egg, milk, butter, sugar and kneaded within an inch of its life. Yup, stretch the dough and look for a window pane, just Google it. Depending on the recipe, some brioche dough will tear after you'll stretch it far too wide so just use common sense....

The recipe is from Ferrandi School of Culinary Arts book that I borrowed from the library. Listed below is actually my tweaked version, substituting some of the bread flour with cake flour, added more milk as the dough was too dry and Saf gold yeast instead of fresh yeast. Instructions are also the one I usually do when I make danish and croissants.

Matcha is again sprinkled on both sides of the butter block rather than on the dough as it adds an interesting colour and flavour contrast.  You can use other flavours such as ube or purple yam, purple sweet potato, pandan/strawberry/raspberry powder to name a few.

If you want a bigger brioche, cut the dough into 8 or 9 portions. I made 12 pieces so brioche is on the small side.

You need European-style butter with 84% butterfat as it is drier and melt slower than some butter. You can, of course, use any good-quality butter but always remember, don't skimp when it comes to your baking ingredients!

Texture of the crust is shatteringly crisp while brioche is still warm but will lose its crispness once it cools down.

I didn't use egg wash in this pastry, only a spray of water on top before the 2nd proofing.

Baking is obviously a relaxing endeavour and if you want to learn laminating dough, turn on the aircon for cripes' sake! Okay, but that doesn't mean I can roll the dough uniformly yet, but hey, at least no French words were uttered while making this fantastic flaky pastry!

Recipe adapted from French Pâtisserie with slight tweaks 

Makes 12 brioche (2-1/2x3-inch each) 

60 grams whole egg, chilled, slightly beaten
87 grams whole milk, chilled
5 grams fine sea salt
30 grams caster sugar
220 grams bread flour
30 grams cake flour
3 grams Saf gold
20 grams butter, softened

150 grams unsalted butter (84% butterfat), well-chilled
4 grams matcha powder

If using a bread machine: Pour beaten egg and milk into the bread pan/tin, followed by salt, sugar and the 2 flours. Make a well on top the flour and add in the yeast, cover it with some flour. Turn on the dough kneading cycle and do 2 cycle, about 22 minutes each, add in butter after 20 minutes. Take out the dough, knead for another 10 minutes. 

* Shape into a smooth round ball then flatten into about 6-inch square, cover with plastic wrap but don't wrap it too tight; leave a bit of space for the dough to expand. Place dough on the baking sheet, let stand for 30 minutes then chill in the fridge overnight.

Make the butter block: Place sliced butter between 2 sheets of parchment paper and shape into 5-inch square. Sprinkle the matcha powder on both sides of the butter. Chill until needed.

The next day:

* Take out dough from the fridge, roll dough to 8-inch square, put butter block at an angle, just like a diamond (in the sky).  Roll out the 4 sides of the dough to 3 1/2-inch, close the flaps to encase butter.

* Once butter is enclosed, gently pinch the seams. Use hands to flatten dough so as to soften and spread the butter along the sides, to create an 8x6-inch square rectangle.

* Using a rolling pin, press it up and down on top of the dough, creating ridges so that butter and dough will adhere better and also elongating it. Once dough is pressed down all over, roll the pin back and forth, smoothing out the ridges. Do this every time before you roll the dough.

* Roll dough into 8x16-inch rectangle, remember to fluff/lift the dough from time to time to prevent sticking on the work surface. Dust flour as needed.

* Do the 3-fold, just like folding a letter. Rotate dough at 90º so the the opening is on the right. This is the 1st turn. 

* Wrap dough in plastic wrap, place on the baking sheet and chill for 30 minutes.

* Do the 2nd turn the same way as the 1st and chill for another 30 minutes.

* Do the 3rd turn and chill for 1 hour.

* Lightly butter two 6-cavity muffin pans, set aside.

* Roll dough into 5x18-inch rectangle and cut into 12 pieces. If you want a bigger brioche, cut into 8 or 9 portions. 

* Braid each piece and place it on a lightly-grease muffin pan. 

* Spray top of each piece with water and cover with lightly-floured plastic wrap. 

* Proof for 2 hours, depending on ambient temperature or until doubled in size.

* Bake for 15-17 minutes, convection function, or until brioche is golden brown.

* Best eaten warm but still wonderful at room temperature.

* Store leftover in an airtight container at room temp, consume within 3 days. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Baked mango cheesecake

Philippine mangoes are arguably the best in the world.

Hey, I'm a Filipino, what can I say?! lol 

And because it's still mango season in Duterteland......

It's my 2nd baked mango cheesecake since I made a mess out of the first attempt. For someone who bake cheesecakes for years without a problem, seeing that baked cheesecake crumpled in front of my greedy eyes was a bit disconcerting 😀 I was used in baking cheesecake where recipes doesn't contain much liquid, just eggs or lemon so baking time is much shorter.

I baked this 6-inch cake for more than an hour and texture is almost perfect so my cheesecake world is right again lol Unlike my previous baked cheesecakes where I always place the pan one rack above the water bath so no water can seep into the cheesecake mixture, this time, I put it onto another bigger seamless pan and placed that pan directly into the water bath. 

Not really happy with the taste though, my unsophisticated taste buds felt that there's something lacking in this attempt. My first disastrous baked mango cheesecake tastes so much better than this! Still can't find that recipe in my messy files though....

I should have added more mangoes to the batter!

For the toppings, I spread some whipped cream before arranging the mango slices. The mangoes that I used though were not so plump and on a small side, so the rose-shaped design looks a bit short. I actually had to redo the first rose-shaped design as it looks really ugly!

If you want to try the recipe, especially if you like your cheesecake sweet, add more condensed milk and definitely add more mangoes to the batter! If you can find good-quality mango paste, add 1 teaspoon to the batter as well.


100 grams biscuits, finely crushed ( I used M&S rich tea biscuits)
35 grams butter, melted
15 grams caster sugar

* Butter the sides and bottom of a 6-inch (loose-bottom) pan and line base with parchment paper.

* Combine ingredients above in mixing bowl and mix thoroughly. Press crumbs into the prepared pan, use a spoon to smoothen the surface. Freeze or chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes until it hardens.


250 grams cream cheese, cubed, at room temperature
115 grams condensed milk
120 grams sour cream
pinch of salt
1 large egg
2 teaspoons lime juice
155 grams mango purée

* Preheat oven to 160ºC.

* In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese and condensed milk; beat until blended, add in sour cream and salt, mix until smooth. Add the egg and beat until just combined. Stir in lime juice and purée, mix well. Pour into the crust.

* Bake in a water batch for 50 minutes (cover top of the pan with foil after 40-50 minutes of baking if you want a light colour cheesecake), lower temperature to 140ºC and continue to bake for another 40 minutes. Turn off oven, open door slightly to release steam. Let cool for 2 hours or completely before removing pan from oven. Once cool, chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

Note: Every oven is different, please adjust temp and time accordingly.

Whipped cream topping:

50 grams whipping cream
5 grams icing sugar

* Beat cream and sugar together until stiff peaks form, do not over beat. Chill until needed.

Mango slices: 

about 5 Philippine mangoes, depending on the size

Mango compote/sauce,  please check this recipe, substituting strawberries with mangoes


* Un-mould cheesecake and place on a serving plate, pipe or spread whipped cream on top of the cheesecake.

* Decorate top with mango slices. Spoon in mango compote along the sides of the cake.

* Chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes before serving.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Pistachio-raspberry petit gâteaux

Ahhhhh summer! You either love it or hate it.....

Counting the days okay, months 'til it's winter again *sigh*

Have you ever tried  photographing mini entremet/petit gateaux during summer? Even the air con can't stop the glaze from melting! At least the pistachio mousse is made from sterner stuff unlike my triple matcha mousse cakes 2 summers ago! lol 

You'll probably heard about entremet by now unless you're not into French pastry....

Entremet is basically a multi-layered cake with various complementary flavours and textures (Pâtisserie/William Curley). 

As with most French pastries, this petit gateaux or mini entremet/cake involves a bit of work. Every layer should be made/prepare beforehand, construct the components then glaze; easy-peasy but it takes a bit of time. But for someone who likes to dawdle, I love to make this kind of pastry because you can construct the cake/s, freeze and just assemble whenever you have the urge. Of course, 5 days and up to a week is my time limit heh! This batch though is my record-breaking entremets as I assemble everything in 3 days! 🤣

This mini cake is made of 5 components, a pâte sablée base, pistachio joconde, pistachio mousse, homemade raspberry jelly and store-bought neutral glaze. 

For the pâte sablée cookie base, I tried the recipe which I tweaked a bit, from Chef Antonio Bachour that I've seen from his Facebook page. Almost the same as the recipe from Cookpad that I use from time to time. This is a pâte sablée with almond powder so it taste so much better.

For the pistachio joconde, I used my favourite recipe from the Pâtisserie book. Joconde sponge or biscuit Joconde is a light almond sponge cake, baked in thin layers and mostly use as a base or linings for layered cakes such as entremets. It is named after the famous painting, Mona Lisa which is called La Joconde in French.

For the pistachio mousse, another tweaked recipe from my fave bilingual cookbook author and chef, Charles Ho. Omitted both almond extract and custard powder because I don't really like the taste. You can make 8 pieces dome-shaped cakes from this recipe. As I only have 1 silicone mould, I used a mini mousse ring for the excess mousse; I chilled it instead of freezing as it's faster to unmould. Colour of the un-glazed pistachio mousse is lighter in real life. The amount of the mousse will nicely fit in a 6x2-inch mousse ring, just guesstimate the amount of jelly insert so as the thickness of the sponge.

Raspberry pairs really well with pistachio so I made raspberry jelly as insert for this gateaux. You can use strawberries or blackberries if prefer.

The glaze is just a simple 3 ingredients neutral glaze. You can make a homemade version if you can find pectin NH, note that it is different from the pectin which is mostly use in jam making. The recipe is again from Chef Antonio Bachour's facebook page. The glaze though is a bit disappointing, not really sure if it is the brand that I used or the very hot weather, it keeps sliding as you can see from the photos. The 250 grams neutral glaze and 30 grams water with a bit of green food colour is good enough for 6 mini cakes.

Decorations are just freeze-dried strawberries (both fresh and freeze-dried raspberries are too expensive for my taste) and some crushed and whole pistachio kernels. 

Joconde sponge, recipe adapted from Pâtisserie

63 grams icing sugar
35 grams pistachio powder 
30 grams almond powder
19 grams flour, sifted
81 grams whole eggs
14 grams butter, melted
50 grams egg white
15 grams caster sugar

* Preheat oven to 200ºC. Line a 12-inch square pan with parchment paper or silicone mat.

* Combine icing sugar, flour, pistachio and almond powder in a mixing bowl. Add the whole eggs and beat until ribbon stage, about 10-12 minutes. 

* Melt butter and slowly add it to egg mixture, mix well to combine.

* Beat egg whites and sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold meringue into the egg mixture and spread evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for about12-15 minutes until golden brown. 

* Let cool completely before using.

* Cut out 6 pieces of joconde using a 6-cm (metal) ring/cutter and one 7-cm round for the excess mousse.

Raspberry jelly:

100 grams (homemade) raspberry purée
20 grams drinking water
20 grams caster sugar
3 grams gelatine leaf/sheet

* Soak gelatine sheets in cold water until soft, squeeze off excess water and set aside.

* In a small saucepan, bring the purée, sugar and water to a boil, stir until sugar is melted. Turn off heat and add in the softened gelatine, stir until gelatine is completely melted. Transfer to a heat-proof cup and let cool slightly before pouring onto the silicone mould. 

* Freeze until set.

Makes eight 4-cm mini dome-shaped jellies

Pistachio mousse, recipe adapted from Homemade Parent-Kid Baked Goodies/ Charles Ho

6 grams gelatine sheets
200 grams whipping cream (35% fat)
30 grams caster sugar
18-20 grams egg yolk
70 grams milk, fresh or UHT
70 grams (homemade) pistachio paste

* Soak gelatine sheet in cold water until soft, about 5-10 minutes. Squeeze off excess water, set aside.

* Whisk cream until it has the consistency of a thick yogurt, chill in the fridge until needed.

* Whisk yolk and sugar in a mixing bowl until light in colour. Pour in milk and place bowl on top of a saucepan with simmering water. Stir constantly until mixture has reached to about 165ºC. Mixture has the (almost) consistency of evaporated milk. Turn off heat, add in the softened gelatine, stir until  gelatine is completely melted. Stir in the pistachio paste and mix until well-combined.

* Fold in the whipped cream and mix well. 


* Fill in the 6-cavity silicone mould with pistachio mousse, about three-fourths full. Gently press down the raspberry jelly on each filled mould, top in with a bit more mousse to cover the jelly. Place the joconde sponge on top , gently pressing down; fill in more mousse along the sides of the biscuit. Use an offset spatula to smoothen the top. Assemble remaining jelly and mousse in a 7x5-cm mini mousse ring. Freeze mousse in silicone for at least 8 hours and place the one in mousse ring in the fridge. 

Pâte sablée,  recipe adapted from Chef Bachour's Facebook page

60 grams cold butter, cubed 
40 grams icing sugar
pinch of salt
20 grams almond flour
70 grams plain flour
62 grams cake flour
24 grams whole egg, cold

* Preheat oven to 170ºC.  Line baking sheet with silicone mat/parchment.

* Place cold butter, sugar, salt and the 2 flours in a mixing bowl. Use fingers, rub dry ingredients and butter together until it resemble a breadcrumbs; add in beaten egg and mix until it forms a shaggy 
dough. Gently knead 4-6 times until smooth, pat dough into 6-inch square and wrap in plastic wrap or parchment paper. Chill for 2 hours or overnight. 

* If the dough is a bit firm to roll, let stand for about 2-3 minutes, depending on ambient temperature. Roll dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper to 3-mm thick, chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes if the rolled dough turns a bit soft. Use a 2 1/2 fluted cutter (3-inch is better) to cut 6 pieces and one 3-inch round. Use some small cutters for the excess dough.

* Place cut dough into the prepared baking sheet and freeze for 1 hour before baking.

* Bake for 14 to 20 minutes until lightly-browned. 

* Cool completely before using.


250 grams store-bought neutral glaze
30 grams drinking water
a bit leaf green Wilton food colour

* Combine glaze and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Transfer to a heat-proof cup and stir in the food colour. Let cool to 100ºF before using.

* Unmould pistachio mousse and place on a wire rack, place rack on a plastic wrap-lined ( for easy clean up) baking sheet and freeze for another 30 minutes before glazing.

* Glaze frozen mousse, chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes for the glaze to set. Take out glazed cakes and transfer to a cake holder, place back in the fridge and let de-frost for about 2 hours before decorating. 

* Serve straight from the fridge. 

* Store petit cakes in an airtight container and place fridge. Consume within a week.