Friday, June 21, 2019

No-bake mango-calamansi curd mini cheesecake

To err is human, to forgive, absolutely galling (N.R)

Instead of practicing my non-existent frosting skill, I decided to make another mango-based dessert. Mango season is nearly over but I've read online that it's a bumper crop this year back home in #Duterteland. A boon to those who love mangoes as the price per kilo is a bit lower than usual. Hopefully, some will continue to trickle here in "smoggy" Hong Kong.

If I have a "roadside" café, this cheesecake will be one of seasonal produce desserts. It's refreshingly delicious and perfect summer treat. The calamansi curd certainly adds a delightful flavour contrast.

This maybe a no-bake cheesecake but the "crust" base is baked cookie made from pâte sucrée. The base is 3mm thick, ideally, it should be 2 or 2.5mm so that it'll be thin enough to cut with a dessert spoon or fork easily. The cookie ring though is a perfect thickness or should I say, thinness?! If you haven't tried that type of sweet pastry dough, you've probably missed two-thirds of you life lol  

I used silicone mould to shape the cheesecake "filling". You can use any mould you have on hand. Filling will "probably" fill a 5x2-inch mousse ring with 1/2 inch crust base.

Toppings are just the usual suspects, mango compote or sauce (a leftover from last month yup, it's still edible because it'll stay fine indefinitely as long as you freeze it), mango cubes and piped calamansi curd. I don't have mint leaves on hand so I used cilantro leaves 😁And for a pop of colour, I added green tea macarons.

Have you ever wondered why those goodies at French or Japanese pâtiserries are expensive?! 

Calamansi curd

1 (61 grams with shell) egg
65 grams sugar
70 grams freshly-squeezed calamansi juice
35 grams butter, cubed and softened

* In a small saucepan, combine egg and sugar; whisk until mixture is light and smooth. Pour in calamansi juice and stir well. Add in the cubed butter.

* Cook mixture over low heat for 10-12 minutes until thickens. Strain over a fine-mesh sieve, let cool for few minutes before pouring into a small sterilized jar. Let cool completely. Store in the fridge.

Makes about 145 grams

Mango-calamansi curd cheesecake

100 grams whipping cream, whipped (medium peaks), chill in the fridge until needed
5 grams gelatine sheet/leaf, soaked in cold water for 5-10 minutes, excess water squeezed off
100 grams cream cheese, at room temperature
45 grams condensed milk
120 grams mango purée
75 grams calamansi curd, recipe above
5 grams dark rum, optional

* Melt softened gelatine over a pan of barely simmering water. Keep warm.

* Beat cream cheese and condensed milk until smooth. Add in the purée, curd and rum, mix well. Pour in the melted gelatine and beat until well incorporated.

* Fold whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture, mix well.

* Place cheesecake batter into a piping bag and pipe into the prepared silicone mould. Rap mould onto the counter to prevent air pockets from forming. Smooth top with a spatula.

* Freeze for at least 6 hours preferably, overnight.

Pâte Sucrée, recipe adapted here

110 grams cake flour, sifted
50 grams icing sugar
30 grams almond flour
1 gram fine sea salt
60 grams cold butter, cubed
1 (18-20 grams) egg yolk

* In a mixing bowl or a clean work surface, combine the flour, sugar, almond flour, and salt. Make a well in the middle of the dry mixture and add in the butter. Using your fingers, rub everything together until it forms a cohesive dough. Gently knead dough, 4-6 times, until smooth. Place in a plastic wrap and shape into a 5-inch square. Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour or overnight.

* Roll out dough, between 2 sheets of lightly-floured parchment paper, into 2-2.5mm thick. Using a 7cm scalloped-shaped round cookie cutter, cut out 12 pieces, re-roll the dough if necessary. Use a 4cm round to cut the middle of the 6 pieces for cookie rings. Bake excess dough together with the rest.

* Bake tart dough at 170ºC for 12-18 minutes. Cool completely before using.

To assemble the cheesecake

Makes 6 


1 mango, cut into cubes
some mango compote/sauce
6 pieces homemade green tea macarons, optional
some mint leaves
some calamansi curd

* Place cookies on the cake holders, add the frozen cheesecakes on top and de-frost for 1 hour inside the  fridge.

* Take out from the fridge, place one cookie ring on top of each cheesecakes. Add about 1 teaspoon compote sauce in the middle of the cookie ring and some mango cubes. Decorate with macarons, mint leaves and pipe in a bit of calamansi curd. Serve immediately.

Friday, June 7, 2019

No-churn green tea and raspberry cheesecake ice cream pops

I scream, you scream, we all scream for green tea ice cream!!!!!!

Well, if green tea is your thing.... If not, go away! I don't need negativity in my life 🤣

How's the weather in your side of the world lately?! *#¡¿%*@#!

Yeah, I feel you! *sigh*

It's hot as Hades here lately and the high humidity is adding more discomfort. For someone who doesn't like summer, I'm counting the days okay, months, until it's winter again 🙄 😅

But summer has its own merit, making ice cream for one thing, lots of ice cream!

And because I love using green tea or matcha in almost everything bar savouries.....

No ice cream machine needed in making this refreshing dessert. All you need is good-quality ingredients and time.

Haven't had cheesecake ice cream yet?! Then you're in for a treat!

Cheesecake ice cream is pretty much the same way you make a no-bake cheesecake except you don't need gelatine to make it stable.

What's the 2nd (ha!) best thing about this ice cream?! The chocolate glaze! You can never go wrong with chocolate, right? This glaze is almost the same as the one I've made last time, I just reduced the amount of cocoa butter and toasted the almonds which added a delightful nutty flavour. If using the usual cocoa butter, you need 2 parts couverture chocolate to 1 part cocoa butter to make the glaze.

Green tea cheesecake ice cream:

300 grams whipping cream (35%), well-chilled
105 grams cream cheese, at room temperature
135 grams condensed milk, chilled
12 grams green tea powder
2 grams fine sea salt
10 grams calamansi juice

75 gram raspberry compote (recipe below)
30 grams caramelized biscuits/speculoos, coarsely chopped

* Pour cream in a chilled bowl (or you can prepare an ice bath esp if the weather is very hot) and beat until stiff peaks form. Chill in the fridge until needed.

* In another bowl, combine cream cheese, milk, green tea powder and salt. Beat until mixture is smooth, stir in the calamansi juice. Fold in half of the whipped cream to the green tea mixture until well-combined then add in the remaining half, stir well.

* If using a small kind of silicone mould, place ice cream mixture in a piping bag and pipe into each cavity halfway. Add in small amount of raspberry compote, pipe in more ice cream mixture to the rim. Use a chopstick to make a swirl then add in some crushed biscuits on top. Do the same with the rest and use a metal spatula to level the top. Freeze until almost solid then stick in lolly stick on top of each ice cream balls.

* Or you can pour half of the ice cream mixture into a freezer-proof container. Add in 1/2 of the compote and some crushed biscuits and pour the remaining ice cream mixture. Spoon in the remaining compote and biscuits and use a chopstick or a knife to make a swirls. Freeze overnight.

Raspberry compote:

200 grams raspberry purée
40 grams raw sugar
5 grams pectin
5 grams calamansi juice

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

* In a small saucepan, bring purée to the boil, stir in pectin-sugar mixture and let boil for 2-3 minutes, stirring from time to time. Add in the juice and mix until combined. Transfer to a small heat-proof bowl and let cool completely then chill in the fridge until needed.

* Store in the fridge and use within 5-7 days or freeze and it'll last for months.

* You can make this a day ahead.

Chocolate-almond glaze:

110 grams (Belgian) Maracaibo milk chocolate buttons (44%), finely chopped
40 grams (Valrhona) dark chocolate feves (55%), finely chopped
10 grams (Callebaut) Mycryo cocoa butter powder
20 grams diced almonds, toasted

* Melt chocolate (temperature not more than 45ºC) over a pot of barely simmering water., stirring from time to time. Take pan off heat and continue to stir until chocolate is completely melted.

* Once melted, add in the cocoa butter, wait for few seconds before stirring. Stir until smooth; pour glaze in a tall and narrow glass/container, add in diced almonds. Use glaze at 34ºC.

* Dip each ice cream ball onto the glaze one at a time, lightly scrape the bottom along the top of the glass to remove excess glaze. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and do the rest.

* Glaze will set almost immediately so it's important that the ice cream ball is hard when you dip it.

* To easily dip each ball onto the glaze, if not using a lolly sticks, (just like I did with some of the ice cream balls) use a bamboo or metal skewer and poke the top and dip. Use a small fork to hold the glazed ice cream ball then gently remove the stick.

* Freeze for at least 30 minutes before serving.

* For the ice cream on the tub, let stand for about 5 minutes (depending on ambient temperature) at room temperature before serving.

* The amount of the glaze will only coat 16 pieces of ice cream balls. Adjust the ingredients accordingly.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Mango entremet

Suffer in silence.

Taking advantage of the cheap mangoes we have here in smoggy Hong Kong. Started freezing some of them lately, just in case. There is no such thing as overdosing on Philippine mangoes, right?! 😁

This entremet is made of matcha genoise sponge, mango mousse, mango pudding, mango cream cheese (supposedly cheesecake but I forgot to add some crumbs)  and mango glaze. It was a bit time-consuming to make with all those layers crammed in a 6x2-inch mousse ring but with mangoes so sweet and abundant right now, what better way to showcase this delicious fruit?!

It's actually a bigger version, if you can call 6x2-inch big 🙄, of these Mango pomelo and matcha petit gateaux that I made last year. I tweaked the recipe a bit to fit a 6-inch mousse ring and used a different glaze. The glaze on that minis looks much better compare to this version, maybe because of the shape of the mould.....

No step by step photos on how I constructed the layers though as my mood is as gloomy as the weather lately.....

The matcha genoise sponge is actually scraps from the letter cakes that I've made earlier this month. I just fused 3 scraps together to make a 5.5-inch round sponge and it's way faster than baking a new one. If you have some excess sponge, freeze it, you'll never know when you need one....

Just like the sponge layer, you can make  the mango pudding a day ahead and just freeze it.

The day you construct your entremet layers, you'll only need to make the mousse and mango cream cheese filling. These 2 layers are actually very easy to make. It"s very important to freeze the cake several hours preferably, overnight or it'll wilt as you pour the glaze. 

The glaze is made of store-bought neutral glaze gel, gelatine and mango purée. This kind of glaze is not as viscous as a chocolate-based one and I had a hard time glazing the sides. You can see that glaze along the sides is very thin. I should have trimmed the top edges slightly so that the glaze will flow freely along the sides *sigh*

For the decorations, the round balls are excess mango cheesecake, I poured the batter in a silicone mould (photo below) to create some balls.

The matcha chocolate feathers are diy, a cheat's way of tempering actually 😁I added Callebaut Mycryo cocoa powder to the tempered white chocolate thus eliminating the re-heating step before it can be used. Still needs lots of practice when it comes on making these chocolate feathers but still happy that I made 8 passable pieces out of 36 lol And using just a small amount of white chocolate means the mixture will solidify quiet fast so I had to re-heat the chocolate again.....

Matcha genoise sponge , you can make half of the recipe and bake it in 6 or 7-inch round pan. You need 1/2-inch thick sponge for this cake.

Mango pudding, make this a day ahead

10 grams whipping cream
15 grams coconut milk
70 grams mango purée
20 grams sugar
10 grams milk
4 grams gelatine sheets
85 grams fresh, diced mangoes

* Soak gelatin in cold water until softens, about 5-10 minutes. Squeeze off excess water, set aside.

* Pour cream, coconut milk and mango purée in a small mixing bowl, mix well.

* Combine milk, sugar and softened gelatine in a small heat-proof bowl; place bowl in a pot of barely simmering water, stir until sugar and gelatin are completely melted. Take bowl off heat and add the purée mixture, stir until well-combined.

* Pour pudding mixture in a 5.5 or 5-inch round silicone pan or a mousse ring lined with plastic wrap at the bottom. Let cool at room temperature then add in the diced mangoes. Freeze until needed.

Line the baking sheet with a 7-inch parchment paper and place the 6-inch mousse ring on top. 

Place a 5.5-inch sponge cake at the bottom of the mousse ring.

Mango mousse:

4 grams gelatin sheets
30 grams milk
100 grams whipping cream
30 grams sugar
100 grams mango purée
5 grams calamansi juice

* Soak gelatin in cold water for about 5-10 minutes, squeeze off excess water, set aside.

* Combine softened gelatin and milk in a small bowl; place bowl in a pot of barely simmering water. Stir until gelatin is completely melted, keep it warm.

* Whip cream and sugar until medium peaks, add in mango purée and mix well. Stir in melted gelatin and mix on low speed until incorporated.

* Place mousse in a piping bag and piped it around and over the matcha genoise sponge, make sure to fill in the gap between the sponge and the mousse ring. Gently tap the baking sheet to eliminate air pockets along the sides of the ring.

* Take out frozen pudding from the mould and gently place it on top of the mango mousse. If the mousse is too soft, freeze for about 15 minutes before you put the pudding layer. Chill in the fridge until needed.

Mango cream cheese filling:

4 grams gelatin sheet
80 grams (Philadelphia) cream cheese, softened
85 grams whipping cream
35 grams sugar
50 grams mango purée
5 grams calamansi juice

* Soak gelatin in cold water until soft, 5-10 minutes, squeezed off excess water, set aside.

* Beat cream until medium peaks; chill in the fridge until needed.

* Melt gelatin in a pot or barely simmering water, keep it warm.

* Beat cream and sugar until smooth, fold in the whipped cream until well-combined. Add in the melted gelatin and mix thoroughly.

* Pour cream cheese mixture on top of the pudding, make sure to fill in the gap along the sides. Smooth the top with a spatula. Excess filling can be place in any small silicone mould or any desired small cookie cutter to be used as decoration. Freeze for at least 6 hours or overnight.

Unmould the cake by running the hair dryer along the sides of the mousse ring. Freeze for another 30 minutes before glazing.

Matcha white chocolate feathers:

100 grams Callebaut white chocolate callets (33% cocoa)
2 grams matcha powder
1 gram Callebaut Mycryo cocoa powder

* Please check instructions at Meilleurduchef

* Matcha powder is added to white chocolate before tempering.

* Please check this Youtube video on how to make chocolate feathers.

Mango glaze, recipe below will nicely covered an 8-inch cake 

18 grams gelatin sheets
200 grams neutral glaze gel
140 grams mango purée
3 drops of  lemon yellow Americolor gel

* Soak gelatin in cold water until soft, 5-10 minutes, squeeze off excess water and set aside.

* Place the mirror glaze in a small saucepan and stir over low heat, don't let it boil. Add in the softened gelatin and stir until completely melted, turn off heat and add in the mango purée, mix well. Strain glaze over a fine sieve and use glaze at 34ºC.

Pour glaze all over the cake. Chill in the fridge for about 15 minutes until glaze is set. Use a metal spatula to scrape off excess glaze at the bottom. 

De-frost the cake for an hour or 2 in the fridge  before serving. Decorate the top with mango cream cheese balls, matcha chocolate feathers and strawberry crisp pearls.

Consume within 2 days.

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.