Saturday, November 2, 2019

Mango-matcha charlotte cake

No butter shortage, only money shortage

Here's my take on the Charlotte cake, giving it a delightful Asian twist, using mangoes from #Duterteland and matcha-flavoured sponge cake.

Charlotte cake is made of ladyfingers or sponge and filled with cream or mousse or jelly and top with variety of fruits. The name of the dessert was a tribute to Queen Charlotte. Bread though was the basis for the earliest charlotte recipes, it's a dessert with fruit jelly or preserves and baked over hot coals and eaten warm.

Charlotte cake is more of a summer cake, the abundance of strawberries during summertime makes this cake a popular choice for a simple yet refreshing dessert. But that doesn't mean you can't make it past summer 🤣

My version of Charlotte cake is mostly made of the usual things you'll find in some French pastries. I used créme diplomat because I've got some egg yolks from macaron making and it's pretty easy to make. Créme diplomat is just a mix of pastry cream and whipped cream. Genoise sponge is sturdy enough as a base to hold the cream. The filling is supposedly a mango jelly but I want to try a compote. Compote means a chunky fruit sauce but the very ripe mangoes tend to disintegrates when you cook it thus the smooth compote.  As you can see from the photos, there's a slight dip in the middle of the sliced cake because I forgot to add another layer of cream  on top of the compote before adding the sponge. I used some of the extra créme diplomat to make a mini cake, sponge is from scraps.

Toppings are leftover créme diplomat, homemade green tea macs and fresh cubed mangoes

So how's your Baking mojo nowadays?! 😅

Pastry cream, make this a day ahead

250 grams whole milk (UHT or fresh)
40 (1) grams sugar
some vanilla seeds or 1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large egg yolks 
10 (2) grams sugar
20 grams cornstarch
1 gram fine sea salt
20 grams butter, softened
4 grams gelatine sheets

* Soak gelatine sheets in cold water for 5-10 minutes. Once softens, squeeze out excess water and set aside.

* Bring milk and sugar into a boil.

* In a mixing bowl, beat yolks and sugar until light and creamy, add in cornstarch and whisk until smooth. Gradually pour in the warm milk mixture, whisking as you pour to prevent eggs from curdling. Pour back mixture back into the pan and bring into a boil while whisking constantly. Let cream boil over medium heat for 2 minutes until thick, turn off heat and add butter; stir until well combined. Add in the softened gelatine and still until completely melted.

* Transfer to a shallow heat-proof bowl and place a plastic wrap directly onto the top of the pastry cream. Let cool at room temperature before putting it in the fridge.

Mango compote, recipe--->>> here

Genoise sponge, recipe adapted from Okashi

115 grams cake flour
4 grams matcha powder, sifted 3 times together with the flour
170 grams (3 large) whole eggs
100 grams caster sugar
15 grams glucose syrup
30 grams butter
45 grams (fresh) whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

* Line a 12-inch square pan with parchment, set aside.

* Preheat oven to 190ºC.

* In a mixing bowl, beat eggs with whisk, add in glucose and sugar, mix well. Place bowl over a saucepan with barely simmering water, stir mixture until sugar is completely dissolved or the temperature has reached 39-40ºC.

* Take bowl off heat and beat on high speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and continue beating for 1 minute to even out the batter. Gently fold in the flour flour-matcha mixture.

* Combine the butter, milk and vanilla in a small heat-proof bowl, place bowl in a saucepan until butter is melted.

* Add about 1/4 cup of the egg batter to the warm butter mixture and mix well. Add it back to the remaining batter and fold evenly.

* Pour into the prepared pan, drop the pan gently several times to remove air bubbles.

* Bake for 16 minutes. Take out cake from the oven and immediately remove from the pan. Cover cake with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Once cooled, gently scrape off the brown crust from the top of the cake before cutting.

Créme diplomat

350 grams pastry cream
250 grams whipping cream

* Beat cream until (almost) stiff peaks, chill in the fridge until needed.

* Beat pastry cream until soft, fold in whipped cream. If there are still some lumps, beat mixture over low speed for about 30 seconds until smooth.

* Chill in the fridge until needed.

Cake assembly: See photos below

You'll need a 6-x3inch mousse mould to hold the cake so as 5-inch mould to cut out two 5-inch sponge

* Cut 2.5-inch x 17-inch rectangle to line the sides of the mould. Use the 5-inch mould the cut 2 pieces of round sponge.

* Line the sides of the mould with the rectangle sponge and place 1 round sponge at the bottom. Pipe in some créme diplomat in the middle (leave about 2 cm gap from the top of the sponge) use a small offset spatula to smoothen the top. Pour in some mango compote on top of the cream, top another layer of cream and cover with the remaining round sponge, pressing it down gently. Pipe in more cream along the sides and over the sponge, use a long spatula to smoothen the top. Reserve some créme diplomat for decoration. Chill in the fridge to set for at least 4 hours or overnight before un-moulding the cake.

* Ran a hairdryer or a kitchen torch along the sides of the moulds for few seconds and gently shake to un-mould the cake. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm it up a bit.

* Decorate top with leftover diplomat cream, mango cubes and green tea macarons.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Calamansi and salted caramel tartlets

When life gives you calamansi...

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

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

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

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

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

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

And also unhealthy! 

Hey, you only live once....

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

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

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

Salted caramel sauce

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

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

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

Yield: 225 grams

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Preheat oven to 180ºC.

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

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

Calamansi curd filling:

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

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

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

To assemble the tartlets:

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

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