Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Mango-chocolate ice cream popsicles

Because today is 8-8-2018 😁

And freakin' hot!

So an ice cream post....

I made these ice cream pops few days ago as part of my freezer clean up drive heh! I've got loads of frozen fruits and purée stash so what better way to use one of them than making ice cream.

You can only make so much mousse cakes and entremets.....

This is a custard-based ice cream; milk, cream, sugar and egg yolks are cooked together until thickens.

There's a bit of ice crystals in the ice cream though and not as smooth as most of the homemade ones I've made before. Not sure if it's the liquid content of the mango purée or I didn't churn the mixture long enough. Maybe a Philadelphia-style ice cream is more suited when it comes to fruity ice cream. That said, this is one delicious ice cream, according to my un-sophisticated palate, rich, almost creamy yet taste very refreshing and the calamansi juice adds a wonderful flavour contrast!

The mango-calamansi ice cream is fantastic on its own but the chocolate-almond glaze not only adds a visual appeal , the taste compliments the ice cream really well!

For the mould, I used a Silikomart small cubes mould (15 cavity). Ice cream recipe below will fill up 14 cubes. You can, of course, use any freezer-proof mould or container of your choice.

Mango-calamansi ice cream

250 grams milk
150 grams whipping cream (35% fat)
40 grams caster sugar
40 grams egg yolks ( from 2 large eggs) 
35 caster sugar
200 grams mango puree, cold
25 grams calamansi juice

* Combine milk, cream and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.

* Meanwhile, beat yolks and the (2nd) sugar until light and creamy.

* Gradually pour warm milk into the yolk mixture whisking as you pour to prevent curdling. Pour milk-egg mixture back into the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly for 20 minutes  or until mixture thickens.

* Transfer custard into a heat-proof bowl and place it over an ice water bath. Let mixture cool completely, stirring from time to time.

* Stir in mango puree and calamansi juice into the cool custard. Refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.

* Churn mixture in an ice cream machine for 20-30 minutes. Spoon ice cream into the silicone mould and cover top with plastic wrap. Freeze until almost firm then shove a flat bamboo skewer stick  halfway into each cube. Freeze overnight.

* Un-mould mango ice cream cubes and place into a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze for 1 hour.

Chocolate-almond glaze, recipe adapted here

Recipe below is enough for 7 ice cream cubes

25 grams (Lindt) milk chocolate (bar), coarsely chopped
25 grams (Valrhona 55-70% combo) dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
50 grams (Mycryo) cocoa butter powder
25 grams coarsely chopped almonds, chilled

* Melt chocolates over a pan of barely simmering water, stirring from time to time. Once melted, add in the cocoa butter powder and mix until smooth. Transfer into a small jug/bottle and stir in the almond, let cool to 90ºF before using.

* Take out ice cream cubes from the freezer and working quickly, dip popsicles into the chocolate glaze one by one. Place glazed ice cream cubes back into the baking sheet.

* Return the glazed ice cream into the freezer and freeze for another 1 hour before serving.

* Eat as much as you can! 

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Fraisier/French-style strawberry cake

Here's a lighter version of the popular French gateaux, Fraisier.

Fraisier comes from the French word fraise meaning strawberry. It is basically made with mousseline cream (pastry cream blended with softened butter), sponge (genoise or joconde), strawberries and traditionally decorated with marzipan.

In this lighter version, I used diplomat cream which is made of pastry cream mixed with whipped cream rather than mousseline cream. This is not as stable as the one with mousseline especially during hot summer months.

This is another one of my East meets West cake, a not-so classic French gateaux with a Japanese twist by adding matcha to the joconde sponge.

I made two-thirds of the joconde sponge but I think my meringue is not firm enough so when I folded it to the almond mixture, it deflated. To add insult to the injury, the bottom of the baked sponge has some shallow tunnel running here and there tsk tsk! I should have made the full recipe.....

The sponge in mini gateaux is actually scraps that I patched up to fit in the 3-inch mould because there's still enough leftover cream.

The pastry cream has some gelatine added to make the diplomat a bit firmer. You should also take into consideration the pastry cream-whipped cream ratio, the more whipped cream added to the pastry cream, the firmer the texture. I used 500 grams pastry cream and 320 grams whipping cream to make this diplomat cream and the texture is good enough to pipe. If you want a more stable diplomat cream, do a 1:1 ratio. Update: Not sure about the 1:1 ratio but more pastry cream (with gelatine) and less cream is much better. 

When making this gateaux, set aside a bit of leftover diplomat cream, about 1 tablespoon for patching up the sides of the cakes just in case there are some unfilled gaps/holes after you un-mould it.

Note that after un-moulding the cake, some of the berries will be covered with thin film of diplomat cream. To make it more presentable, use a pairing knife and gently scrape the cream off or use a paper kitchen towel and gently blot it off. 

For the strawberries, you need berries with almost the same size. If using a mousse ring with 2-inch height, the base of berries should be about 1-inch and each sponge should be 1.5-cm thick. The height of the ring that I used in one cake (5x2-inch round) though is not enough to add the jelly so if you have cake acetate sheets, line the side 1/2 inch higher.

I used 3 different mousse ring/mould sizes in making these cakes. The one without the jelly glaze is 5x2-inch round, 5x3-inch square and the mini using a 3x2 3/4-inch moulds. You can of course, use an 8 or 9-inch mousse ring, preferably with 2 1/2-inch height but need to bake 1.5 of the sponge recipe.

The glaze is a must if you want your berries to look shiny. Of course, on their own, berries are pretty enough. You can probably make a homemade shiny glaze out of a packaged jelly powder, preferably strawberry-flavoured , just reduced the amount of water so that the glaze will be thick.

For the decorations, beside the whole and sliced berries, I added edible flowers which are actually pretty tasteless and a tad expensive, 12 pieces for HK$40., but from the look of them the price is so worth it! lol 

The "crumb shot" photo below is actually from my previous gateaux (different pastry cream recipe and freeze-dried strawberry powder is added to the diplomat cream) as I was just too lazy to take photo of it for this batch.

Joconde sponge, recipe adapted from Pâtisserie

125 grams icing sugar, sifted
4 grams matcha powder, sifted
125 grams ground almonds
38 grams plain flour, sifted
162 grams whole eggs, about 3-4 egss
28 grams butter, melted
100 grams egg whites, about 3 eggs
1 tsp calamansi/lime/lemon juice or cream of tartar
30 grams caster sugar

* Please check how-to here

* Chill in the fridge until needed.

I made 2/3 of the recipe and baked in 12-inch square tin

Pastry cream, recipe adapted from The Advanced Art of Baking and Pastry

454 grams milk
56 grams caster sugar
36 grams egg yolks
50 grams whole egg
36 grams cornstarch
56 grams caster sugar
28 grams butter, softened
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped, keep the pod for other use
5 grams gelatine sheets, softened for 5-10 minutes, excess water squeezed off

* In a small saucepan, combine milk, sugar and vanilla seeds and bring to a boil.

* In a small mixing bowl, beat the yolks and whole egg until thickens.

* Pour hot milk gradually over eggs, whisking as you pour to prevent the eggs from curdling. Pour milk-egg mixture back into the saucepan, let mixture boil, stirring constantly. Cook over medium heat for 3 min or until mixture is thick. Turn off heat and add in the softened gelatine, stir until completely melted.

* Take pan off heat, add in softened butter, stir until well combined.

* Pour cream on a shallow pan and cover with plastic wrap directly on cream to prevent skin from forming. Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Diplomat cream:

500 grams pastry cream
320 grams whipping cream, whipped

* Take out pastry cream from the fridge and let stand at room temperature until it softens enough to stir easily. Stir pastry cream until smooth, set aside.

* Whip cream until medium or nearly stiff peaks.

* Fold whipped cream into the softened pastry cream. Chill in the fridge until needed.

Strawberries, 500 grams and some extra for decorations.

* Wash and pat dry strawberries and cut out the base.

Raspberry jelly:

100 grams raspberry puree
30 grams caster sugar
5 grams gelatine sheets, soaked in cold water for 5-10 minutes, excess water squeezed off

* Combine puree and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, make sure that the sugar in completely melted. Turn off heat and add in softened gelatine, stir until well combined. Pour in a small bowl, set aside.

Make this jelly while the cakes are chilling in the fridge.


* Cut out two 5-inch square and two 5-inch round sponge using the mousse rings, save the scraps for the 3-inch mini cake. Place ring with the sponge inside on top of a cake holder and place it on the baking sheet.

* Place one sponge at the base of one mousse ring.

* Place some diplomat cream on piping bag and pipe a thin layer on the sponge base.

* Place strawberries along the sides of the ring and pipe in cream to fill in the gaps, add in more strawberries in the middle. Pipe more cream to cover the berries and use an offset spatula to gently push down the cream all over to prevent air pockets. Smooth the cream and place in the other sponge, gently push down the sponge, pipe in more cream to cover the sponge. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before adding in the jelly.

* Save a bit of diplomat cream to patch the sides of the cakes just in case there are some small holes/air pockets after un-moulding.

* Chill overnight.


45 grams neutral glaze
14 grams drinking water

* Combine glaze and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Brush berries while glaze is hot.

Un-moulding and decorations:

* Ran a hair dryer along the sides of the mousse ring for a minute or 2 to unmould the cake.

* Place back cake in the fridge and chill for at about 30 minutes.

* If there are some holes/air pockets along the sides of the cakes, fill holes with the reserved diplomat cream using a small offset spatula and smooth it out. Gently srcape off the thin film of cream on the surface of the strawberries using a small pairing knife or wipe with paper kitchen towel. Chill for another 1 hour before serving.

* Decorate top with whole and sliced berries and garnish with edible flowers and mints.

* Slice and serve.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Matcha-strawberry tart

The only thing I love about summer nowadays is the abundance of cheap seasonal fruits that usually trickle in Hong Kong from different parts of the world. Mangoes, lychees, cherries and of course, strawberries! Okay, these berries may look sweet and juicy but almost of all them, well, are a bit tart- no pun intended! 

Not that I'm complaining! I love the flavour contrast of tart berries with the rich and almost sweet filling.

This is 3-layer tart, 4, if you count the berries- the matcha pâte sablée base, almond-pistachio cream and créme diplomat. 

This is a sablée with almond powder added, not only it adds a delicious flavour, it makes the base sturdy and not prone to breakage. The recipe below is my tweaked version from the Ferrandi School of Culinary Arts book. The tart dough was actually too soft and not really sure if it was the too hot ambient temperature or I added too much butter or egg to the mixture. As I always chill my tart dough overnight, I don't really have a problem with too soft sweet pastry dough. The pastry dough  of this tart wasn't blind baked first but baked together with the almond cream.

I'm not fond of almond cream, there's something almost meaty with the taste and was ambivalent at first whether to use it on this tart. Good thing I gave it another chance heh! I think the added pistachio paste tone down the meatiness so as the strong almond flavour. Maybe it helps that I reduced the amount of almonds.....

For the créme diplomat layer, it was supposed to be a pastry cream but when I looked at the amount, it can hardly cover the almond cream! Note that the original recipe use a 9-inch tart ring and for this tart, I used a fluted 24 cm (9 1/3-inch) tart pan which is a tad bigger. So I added some whipped cream to the pastry cream to make a substantial amount thus the créme diplomat.

Tart crust will stay crisp throughout the day, okay, more the sides than the bottom crust. Surprisingly, the next day, crust still have this delightfully crisp texture, maybe it's those extra liquids that I added.....

So, what are the seasonal produce in your side of the world right now?! 

Matcha shortcrust pastry:

80 grams cold butter, cubed
80 grams cake flour
50 grams plain flour
5 grams matcha powder
30 grams almond powder
60 grams icing/powdered sugar
1 grams fine sea salt
30 grams lightly beaten egg

* Place cubed butter in a bowl, sift in the 2 flours, matcha powder, almond powder and salt; if there are some small almond pieces sitting on the sieve, tip it into the rest of the mixture. Rub mixture together until it resembles a fine breadcrumbs. Gently knead pastry dough 4 to 6 times and form into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and flatten into a 5-inch square, chill overnight.

* Lightly butter a 24-cm/ 9x1-inch fluted tart pan/tin.

* Roll out dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper into 3-mm thick, it should be 1-inch wider than the tart tin. If you feel that the pastry dough is a bit soft, chill in the fridge for few minutes. Peel the top parchment off the dough, put the tart tin on top and turn it up side down. With the parchment paper on top, gently press the dough along the sized and top of the tin, also smoothing the bottom part. Gently peel off the parchment on top of the dough. Freeze for an hour.

Almond-pistachio cream:

60 grams butter, diced, at room temp
60 grams caster sugar
50 grams almond powder
25 grams pistachio paste (homemade or store-bought)
50 grams lightly beaten egg

* Preheat the oven to 170ºC. Beat softened butter with spatula or a wooden spoon until creamy. Add the sugar, almond powder, pistachio paste and egg; beat until mixture is smooth. Pipe or pipe mixture on top of the frozen base of the tart .

* Bake for 30-35 or until almond cream is golden. Let cool completely.

Pastry cream, make this a day or few hours ahead

125 grams (UHT) whole milk
25 grams caster sugar
25 grams egg yolks
12 grams cornstarch
20 grams butter, softened
1 grams gelatine leaf/sheet (optional)

* Soak gelatine in cold water for about 5 minutes; squeeze off  excess water and set aside.

* In a small saucepan, bring milk and half of the sugar into a boil.

* Meanwhile, whisk yolks and the remaining sugar until light and creamy, sift in the cornstarch and mix until smooth. Gradually add in the heated milk, whisking as you pour to prevent scrambling the yolks. Pour back mixture back into the saucepan, bring into the boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Continue to boil for 2-3 minutes, still whisking.

* Take pan off heat, add in the softened gelatine and stir until completely melted. Add in the butter and mix thoroughly. Transfer cream into a shallow bowl or a rimmed baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap over the surface, let cool. Chill for few hours or overnight.

Créme diplomat:

1 quantity of pastry cream, recipe above
75 grams cream, whipped

* Take out pastry cream from the fridge and whisk until smooth, fold in the whipped cream.

To assemble the tart:

about 500 grams fresh strawberries, hulled and cut into 2 pieces
some pistachio kernels
small amount of heated apricot jam, for glazing the berries
some mint leaves, optional

* Pipe or spread the créme diplomat over the cooled tart crust. Arrange berries on top of the tart, and brush berries with apricot jam. Sprinkle pistachio kernels on top. Chill in the fridge for about 1 hour.

* Slice and serve. Best eaten the same day it's made.

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. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Mango-matcha mini cheesecakes

Hey all! It's Anne! 

Still remember me?! 

Was planning to make these pretty dessert more than a week ago for our visitors who came bearing gifts (a gorgeous ice Kitchenaid stand mixer and Le Creuset ramekins, hurray!!!) but as always the mouth is always willing but the hands are not lol 

Philippine mangoes are in season right now and what better way to use them than by making a refreshing no-bake cheesecake! And what is better than just a mango cheesecake? Yup , you guessed it right! Add some matcha layers, because why not?! Not only it adds a delicious flavour, the green shade certainly adds a wonderful colour contrast. 

These minis are pretty easy to make but need a bit of active time as layers should be frozen first before adding in the next. The trick is to make the matcha and mango jelly ahead of time so that it'll be cool enough to pour in once the first layer of cheesecake is firm to the touch. For even layers, you need to weigh or guesstimate the amount of each components as you pour.

Original recipe calls for 50 grams of mango purée but I used 200 grams because there is no such thing as too much mango 😁I also used more gelatine, honey instead of sugar and mango-flavoured yogurt instead of plain.

Makes four 3x2-inch mini cheesecakes

Matcha Joconde, recipe adapted from Pâtisserie

42 grams icing sugar
42 grams almond flour
12 grams flour, sifted
3 grams matcha powder, sifted
54 grams whole egg
10 grams butter, melted
34 grams egg white
10 grams caster sugar

* Preheat oven to 200ºC and line a 10-inch square swiss roll pan with parchment.

* Combine icing sugar, almonds and flour in a mixing bowl. Add in the whole eggs and beat together until mixture is light and fluffy. Slowly add the warm melted butter, and mix until well-combined.

* Beat egg whites and sugar in a clean bowl to a firm meringue. Fold meringue into the egg mixture and spread evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for about 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Cool completely before using. You can make this a day ahead.

Mango purée

500 grams mango flesh
50 grams drinking water
50 grams caste sugar
10 grams lemon juice

* Blitz mango flesh in a food processor.

* Put water and caster sugar in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.

* Pour warn syrup and lemon juice into the puréed mangoes and mix well. Strain mixture through a fine sieve. Let cool completely and store into an airtight container. Chill in the fridge until needed.

Mango compote/sauce, optional for decoration but delicious as an add-in to the cheesecakes

15 grams caster sugar
5 grams pectin
100 grams mango purée (recipe above)
100 grams mango flesh or just use only mango purée

* Mix together the sugar and pectin in a small bowl.

* Combine the purée and the mangoes in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Add in the sugar mixture and cook for 2-3 minutes.

* Pour into a heat-proof container, let cool and chill in the fridge until needed.

Matcha milk jelly

5 grams matcha powder
5 grams gelatine leaf/sheet
30 grams caster sugar
100 gram milk
40 grams drinking water

* Soak gelatine sheets into cold water until softens, 5-10 minutes, squeeze out excess water and set aside.

* Combine sugar, milk and water into a small saucepan, sift in the matcha and bring mixture into the boil. Turn off heat and add in the softened gelatine, mix until gelatine is completely melted. Strain mixture through a fine sieve, let cool at room temperature.

Mango jelly

5 grams gelatine leaf/sheet
160 grams mango purée
20 grams caster sugar

* Soak gelatine in cold water until softens. Squeeze out excess water and set aside.

* Place the purée and sugar into a small saucepan and bring to the boil or until sugar is melted. Turn off heat, add in the softened gelatine, stir until completely melted. Transfer jelly into a small bowl, let cool at room temperature.

Mango cheesecake

8 grams gelatine sheet
1 (18 grams) egg yolk
30 grams milk
100 grams (Kiri) cream cheese, at room temperature
15 grams honey
65 grams whipping cream
50 grams mango-flavoured yogurt
200 grams mango purée
5 grams lemon juice
2 grams mango paste

* Soak gelatine in cold water until softens. Squeeze off excess water and set aside.

* In a small mixing bowl, combine egg yolk and milk. Place bowl over a saucepan with simmering water. Beat mixture until light, fluffy and almost tripled in size. Add in the softened gelatine and stir until completely melted. Keep mixture warm.

* Beat cream until firm peaks form, set aside.

* Beat cream cheese and honey until smooth and fluffy, add in whipped cream. Beat until smooth and creamy.

* Add in yogurt, mango purée, mango paste, lemon paste and the warm gelatine. Mix until well incorporated.

To assemble

* Using a 3x2-inch mousse ring, cut out 4 piece of matcha joconde sponge. Place rings into a baking sheet.

* Pour in 60 grams of mango cheesecake batter into each mousse rings (with the joconde inside), use a spoon or a small spatula to smoothen the layer. Freeze for about 15 minutes or until top is firm. Add in the cool matcha milk jelly on top of the cheesecake batter at 45 grams each. Freeze for about 20 minutes. Add in the remaining cheesecake batter, dividing evenly into 4 portions and freeze for another 15 minutes. Take out from the freezer and add in the mango jelly, again, dividing evenly into 4 portions. Chill cakes overnight.

* Unmould each cakes by running a hairdryer along the sides of the mousse rings. Chill for another 30 minutes before serving.

* Decorate top with some mango pieces, mango compote and garnish with mint leaves.