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Thursday, April 11, 2019

Mango cream tart


Familiarity breeds contempt.

It's mango season, peeps, head out to the supermarket and buy mangoes as much as you can probably carry! This month is the best time to hoard Philippine mangoes here in smoggy Hong Kong, eat as much as you can and freeze the remaining........


Let's talk about the bi-colour laminated tart crust, some of you have probably seen it on Instagram by Preppy Kitchen. I'm gonna tell you, it was effin' hard to make especially if you're pissed and the temperature that day is freakin' hot that even the stupid aircon at full blast is no help at all! I usually make a tart crust in about 10 minutes but this one took me more than an hour! Well, most of that time though was spent going to the freezer and tweedling my thumb waiting for the dough strips to get firm again 😬Despite the mishaps, the manhandling of the dough and less than neat laminated tart dough, the result turned out nice, well, according to thy unsophisticated palate. Crust is delicious and wonderfully crisp despite the rough handling and of course, the filling.....

Filling is just a simple diplomat cream, a lightened pastry cream mixed with whipped cream. A versatile pastry filling and frosting.

Thinking of doing a minimalist topping peg 🙄but my greedy self said, "It's mango season for cripes' sake!" As you can see, some of the piped diplomat cream literally drowning in mango compote! Because there is no such thing as too much mangoes, right?! lol 


Mango compote/sauce:

200 grams mango purée
15 grams caster sugar
5 grams pectin
5 grams lime juice

* In a small bowl, stir together sugar and pectin, set aside.

* In a small saucepan, bring the purée into the boil. Add in the pectin-sugar mixture and let boil over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring from time to time, add in lime juice. Transfer in a small heat-proof container, let cool then chill in the fridge until needed.

* Make this a day ahead.


Pastry cream:

250 grams milk
some vanilla seeds or vanilla extract
50 grams sugar, divided
2 egg yolks
20 grams cornstarch
20 grams unsalted butter, softened
4 grams gelatine sheets

* Soak gelatin for 5-10 minutes until softened; squeeze off excess water.

* Bring the milk, vanilla, and half of the sugar into a boil.

* In a small mixing bowl, whisk together yolks and the remaining sugar until creamy. Add in the cornstarch and whisk until smooth.

* Gradually pour in warm milk into the yolk mixture, whisking as you pour to prevent curdling. Pour back the mixture into the saucepan and bring to the boil while whisking constantly. Let cream boil over medium heat for 2 minutes until thick. Remove pan from heat; add in the butter and stir until well combined. Add in the softened gelatine and mix until completely melted.

* Transfer in a shallow container or a bowl, place a plastic wrap on top of the cream. Let cool then chill in the fridge until needed.

* You can make this few hours or overnight before using.


Diplomat cream:

140 grams pastry cream, recipe above
140 grams whipping cream

* Beat cream until stiff peaks form, chill in the fridge until needed.

* Stir or beat pastry cream until smooth. Fold in whipped cream in 2 additions until well combined. Using a beater/handmixer, beat diplomat cream over low speed for 30-45 seconds until smooth. Chill in the fridge until needed.

Makes enough for a 6-inch tart, with extra cream for decorating 


Sweet tart dough, recipe adapted from Pastries, with some adjustments

75 grams unsalted butter, cold
50 grams icing sugar
20 grams ground almonds
75 grams cake flour
50 grams bread flour
pinch of fine sea salt
25 grams whole egg

Matcha tart dough, recipe as above but add 2 grams of matcha powder

* In a mixing bowl or a clean work surface, mix together the butter, sugar, almonds, the 2 flours and the salt. Rub ingredients together until it forms a fine breadcrumbs, add in the egg and mix until it forms a shaggy dough. Gather dough together and knead gently, 4-6 times, until smooth. Place in a plastic wrap and form into a 5-inch square. Chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight.

* Roll out the dough separately (duh) into 2 mm thick, using sharp knife or a pizza cutter, cut a long strips to about 8-10 inch in length and 1/2-inch wide (rough guesstimate). Carefully lift out each strip of dough and place it alternately in a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. If the dough gets too soft to handle, freeze for about 10-15 minutes or until it's firm yet pliable.

* Grease a 6-inch tart ring and use it to cut the bottom base, cut strips of dough about 2/3-inch thick to line the sides. Remove the unused dough strips and save it for later use. Freeze for 1 hour before baking.

* Preheat oven to 180ºC. Press parchment paper against the crust, fill with pie weights and blind bake for 15 minutes. Take out from the oven and remove the weights and bake for another 10 minutes until crust is golden brown. Let tart cool in the ring over a wire rack before removing it.




To assemble the cream tart:

* Spread 55 grams of mango sauce at the base of the crust and pipe in some diplomat cream over it, smoothing the top. Chill the remaining diplomat cream for decoration. Chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.

* Stir diplomat cream until smooth, place it in a piping bag with a small star tip, pipe randomly according to preference. Add in some round and cubed mangoes and add in some compote. Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving. Decorate with some mint leaves.

* Store leftover tart in an airtight container and place in the fridge. Consume within 3 days. 


Sunday, April 7, 2019

Ube religieuse


 Life is a mystery......

I know, I know, it's another choux pastry! But what can I say? I need to clear out some of my bread flour as I discovered another 2 kilos of T55 lurking somewhere in the Hell's Kitchen, supposedly for  croissant making! Tsk! 

A drop in a bucket as I only used 75 grams of bread flour in this recipe 🙄


Religiuese is French pastry made of two cream-filled choux, one larger than the other, buttercream or whipped cream is piped to join both puff to create a frilly collar or a ruffle to resemble a nun. A plump nun! Religiuese means nun in French.

My take on the traditional French pastry, incorporating ube or purple yam, a popular tuber back home in Duterteland, to create these delightful East meets West pastry


Ube, for those who are uninitiated, is a tuberous root vegetable with vivid purple colour (some are not vivid at all) and widely use for desserts. Ask any Filipino what's their favourite ice cream or cake flavour and you'll get a chorus of "Ube", especially for those who are outside the country.

Of course, I didn't use fresh ube here, only ube paste and powder, but you can find ube here in smoggy Hongkong! 


Just like most French pastry, Religiuese is made of several components, the choux, pastry cream, (French) buttercream and chocolate ganache. I used craquelin as a choux topping because I love the texture and not as messy as using the ganache. The craquelin though has lost its pretty colour along the way lol I don't want to sacrifice the texture of the choux (not crisp enough), just to get that very Instagramable purple colour, if I scale down the baking time. Okay, maybe if only I remember to tent the top of the choux after 30 minutes of baking..... Small oven problem! 

For the pastry cream filling, I only used half of the recipe listed below as I ran out of milk. I added 75 grams of whipped cream to make a diplomat cream (sans gelatine) but not enough to fill all the choux (only 5 large and 4 small choux). Diplomat cream is a lighter and delicious version of pastry cream, whipped cream is added to make a voluminous mixture that can be piped. 

I only assembled 3 religiuese as I need to do what I was supposed to be doing but you can make 8 pieces out the the choux recipe ( I can only fit several pieces of choux in one pan as you can see in the last photo).

I say a little prayer for you.......


Ube craquelin:

42 grams butter, cubed
54 grams brown sugar
50 grams cake flour
1 gram ube flavouring powder
pinch of salt
small drop of ube paste

* In a mixing bowl or clean work surface, combine butter, sugar, cake flour and salt. Rub ingredients together until it resembles a coarse bread crumbs, add in the ube paste. Gather the dough and knead gently, 4-6 times, until dough is smooth. Transfer into a plastic wrap and shape into a 5-inch square. Chill in the fridge for an hour or overnight.

* Roll out dough into 3mm thick, using a 3-cm cutter for small choux and 4.5-cm for a bigger one, cut out 8 small ones and 8 big ones. Re-roll the cookie dough, if necessary.


Ube pastry cream:

250 grams milk
some vanilla seeds
50 grams sugar, divided, half for the egg yolks and half for the milk
pinch of salt
36 grams/2 egg yolk
15 grams cornstarch
15 cake flour
10 grams butter, softened
1/8 tsp ube paste

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

* In a small mixing bowl, whisk the yolk and the remaining sugar until creamy, add in the cornstarch and mix until smooth.

* Gradually pour in the warm milk into the yolk mixture, whisking as you pour to prevent curdling. Pour back mixture into the saucepan, and cook over medium heat while whisking constantly. Let mixture boil for a minute or 2. Remove pan from heat, add in the butter and the ube paste, and whisk until well combined. Transfer cream into a shallow container and cover with plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge until needed.

* Whisk the pastry cream until smooth before using.


Ube buttercream:

50 grams butter, softened
100 gram icing sugar
15 grams whipping cream

* In a small mixing bowl, combine ingredients above and beat until smooth.

* Make 8 or more small flowers, using Wilton 102 tip. Chill in the fridge until needed.

* You can make the flower decoration the day before and chill the remaining buttercream to use for the "collar" of religiuese.


Choux pastry, recipe adapted from Complete Guide to Baking

83 grams milk
45 grams water
55 grams butter
1 gram caster sugar
1 gram sea salt
75 grams bread flour
100 grams eggs

* Preheat oven to 200ºC.

* In a small saucepan, combine milk, water , butter, sugar and salt; bring to the boil, stir until butter is melted. Take pan off heat, add the flour in one go and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until dough forms into a ball. Put back pan on the stove and cook over medium heat for 1 minute to dry out the dough.

* Transfer dough into a mixing bowl and beat over low speed to for 2 minutes or so to cool down a bit.

* Add eggs in 3 additions, beating well after each, until dough is smooth and shiny.

* Transfer dough into a piping bag with 1-cm round tip for the small one and 1.5-cm tip for the bigger one. You can use the 1-cm tip to pipe both choux, if desired. Top each choux with ube craquelin.

* Bake for 15 minutes at 200ºC then lower temperature to 180ºC and bake for another 20-25 minutes.

* Take out the choux and turn oven off. Poke each choux with a pairing knife to release the steam. Place back into the oven and let it sit to dry out the inside of the pastry for 15 minutes.

* Let cool completely before piping in the filling.


To construct the Religiuese:

* Using a small round piping tip or a pairing knife, poke a hole at the bottom of each choux.

* Place the pastry cream in a piping bag fitted with a round tip and fill each choux.

* Stir the softened buttercream until smooth and place into a piping bag fitted with a large French piping tip. Pipe buttercream into each top of the bigger choux to create a "collar" or "ruffle", place the smaller choux onto the top, pressing down gently. Repeat until you make 8. Smear a bit of buttercream on top of the choux and add in the buttercream flower decoration. 

* Chill in the fridge until ready to serve. 

Friday, March 22, 2019

Choux au craquelin/crispy green tea cookie cream puffs


On wasted years and what might have been....

Hey, all!

I'm still alive!


Clearing up some of my flours, okay, lots of flour, nearly 6 kilos to be exact 🙄Expect more bread post in the next few days.....

Choux is a French pastry made from milk, butter, flour and eggs, these ingredients are cooked to form a dough then baked. There is no leavening agent in this pastry, it relies on the steam from the cooked dough to puff up with almost hollow interior when baked.

Choux is a versatile pastry, it can be filled with ice cream, pastry cream or in my case, whipped cream. You can use it for making eclairs, Paris-brest or the show-stopping croquembouche to name a few.


Choux au craquelin is a choux pastry with cookie dough added on top. The topping adds a delicious crips layer when baked and almost the same texture as that of Mexican or pineapple buns. I added some green tea powder both for flavour and colour.

The filling is just a simple whipped cream flavored with green tea milk spread. This easy to make spread is just milk, cream and green tea cooked together until it thickened. This is just as good as that Ossuloc green tea milk spread and way cheaper 😁

And because it's already mango season in Duterteland, I added some sweet mango slices to the filling. Smoggy Hongkong supermarkets are teeming with cheap, okay, not really and the sweetest mangoes yet! You have to wait few days though for the mangoes to ripen lol 


Green tea milk spread, recipe adapted here

100 grams whipping cream
150 grams (UHT) milk
60 grams (raw) sugar
pinch of fine sea salt
5 grams (Japanese) green tea
15 grams hot water

* In a small saucepan, combine the cream, milk, sugar and salt. In a small bowl, sift in green tea and pour in hot water, stir until smooth; pour the mixture into the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 14 minutes until thickens, it will thicken further as it cools down. Transfer to a small sterilized glass jar, let cool at room temperature then chill in the fridge until needed.

Yield: about 190 grams 


Green tea cookie dough, recipe adapted from Never Skip Dessert

42 grams unsalted butter
54 grams raw sugar (or brown or cassonade)
50 grams cake flour
pinch of salt
1 gram green tea powder

* Combine all ingredients above and rub mixture together until it resembles a coarse bread crumbs. Gather the dough and knead gently 4-6 times until smooth. Form into a 5-inch square and cover with plastic wrap, chill in the fridge for at least an hour or overnight.

* Roll dough to 3mm thick between two sheets of parchment paper, if the dough is still a bit hard to roll, leave it for a minute or so before rolling it again.

* Using a 4.5cm cookie cutter, cut 10 circles, wrap the remaining dough for future use, chill in the fridge until needed.


Choux pastry

100 grams (UHT) milk
25 grams water
40 grams unsalted butter
10 grams sugar
1 gram fine sea salt
some vanilla seeds (from my homemade vanilla extract) or half vanilla pod, seeds scrape off
75 gram cake flour
85 grams whole eggs (about 2 eggs)

* Preheat oven to 190ºC.

* Combine the milk, water, butter, sugar, salt and vanilla seeds in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Take pan off heat, add in the flour in one go and stir mixture vigorously; return pan to the stove and cook over medium heat for 1 minute to dry out the dough or until it pulls away from the side of the pan.

* Transfer the dough into a mixing bowl and using an electric mixer (or a wooden spoon), stir mixture over low speed for 2 minutes or so to cool down a bit.

* Gradually add in the eggs in 3 additions, beating well after each and scraping the sides of the pan as needed. Dough should be smooth and glossy.

* Using a piping bag with 1/2 inch round tip, pipe about 4.5cm balls onto the baking sheet lined with baking paper. Top each choux dough with cookie dough circles, pressing down gently.

* Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown.

* Take out the choux from the oven and turn the oven off. Use a small pairing knife to pierce the side or bottom of the choux to let the steam escape. Place back the choux into the oven and let them dry out for 15 minutes. Cool completely.

Makes 10 3-inch puffs 

Matcha cream filling:

180 grams whipping cream
45 grams green tea milk spread

* Whip cream until slightly thicken, add in the milk spread and continue beating until stiff peak forms. Chill in the fridge until needed.

Assembling the choux:

* Slice off the top, about 1/3 or 1/2, depending on your preference, of the choux. Transfer whipped cream to a piping bag fitted with a star tip and fill in each choux, add in fresh mango slices and top it with the other half of the pastry. Do the same with the remaining choux. Consume immediately. Ha! 

* Choux won't stay crisp for a long time, maybe about an hour. Fill the choux just before serving.