Wednesday, August 31, 2011

AB #10 - Blueberry Cheese Tart

I'm beating the time to participate in the Aspiring Bakers #10 - Easy as Pie hosted by Janine of Not the Kitchen Sink. You see, I've only finally decided to bake the blueberry cheese tarts at the 11th hour (i.e 10.20pm to be exact!)Although I did prepare the blueberry fillings on Tuesday which is a PH, I didn't think I have the time to do any baking during the week.

Whilst writing this post, the tarts are still baking in the oven. I will be snapping some pictures later, do a quick edit and upload it here.

The blueberry cheese tart is the 2nd time I'm baking it (the last was June 2009). I didn't realise how time flies and without this blog to journal my baking journey, I would have thought that I did it just last year! That's a pretty long time for me to re-bake such a wonderful recipe.

In my haste of baking, I accidentally dropped and broke my beloved & sentimental mixer (heart-break as well). Told T about it and that I would have to throw it away, but he said that "something with sentimental value is for keep-sake though it can't be used anymore". Very true. I'm contemplating now.

Blueberry Cheese Tarts

(makes 36 mini tartlets)

Ingredients/ Method:

125g butter
50g fine granulated sugar
250g plain flour
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1 tbsp COLD water

1. Sift flour and sugar into mixing bowl.
2. Rub butter into flour until resembles coarse crumbs (rubbing method).
3. Add in egg yolk, vanilla and water.
4. Shape dough into ball and refrigerate (20-30 minutes) before using** (before using, take out from fridge, wait for awhile until dough soften).
5. Place dough onto tart shells, and pooked the base with fork (this is to let the air comes out while baking).
6. Bake at 160-170'C for 10-15 minutes or until brown.

Blueberry Filling:
125gm fresh blueberries
1 tsp sugar

1. Bring blueberries and 1 teaspoon sugar to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat.
2. Cook, mashing berries with spoon several times and stirring frequently, until berries have broken down and mixture is thickened and reduced to ¼ cup, about 6 minutes. Transfer to small bowl and cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.

Cream Cheese Filling:
250g cream cheese
20g butter
50g fine granulated sugar
1 egg

1. Beat cheese, butter and sugar together until fluffy.
2. Add in egg and beat till well mix.
3. Pour mixture onto baked tart shells.
4. Spoon some blueberries or blueberry pie filling onto unbaked tarts, and use a toothpick to create swirls.
5. Bake at 170-180'C for 10 minutes.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The best blueberry muffins & pancake

During my 3-weeks getaway in States, other than making lao po bing, I also had my hand on the Best blueberry muffins and soft fluffy pancakes. My original plan was to bake-like-crazy when I'm holidaying at my sis' place, if we had only stayed at her place. But we decided to have a week stay at her house "doing nothing", and another 2 weeks on road trip from central States heading westward to San Francisco. For the last decade that my sis left S'pore for States, this is our first time visiting her together with my dad & Zakris; my gf E tagged along as well. My regret is that my mum didn't get the chance to see the well-being of my sis in a far-away land, and I do not want to have another regret that my dad didn't get to do it too! It was definitely a good trip but it won't be the last for sure! I'm already planning another trip in 2013, and to see my 1 year+ niece then!

When I saw the big array of baking tins, tools, ingredients, spices, pots & pans etc left me & my friend in awe! Even the sugar and salt are particular! The kitchen is so well-equipped that you can bake anything almost anytime. For someone who don't cook at all before she left S'pore, it's a pleasant surprise!

The blueberry muffin recipe is highly recommended by my sis, and with the lemon-sugar toppings, they are luxurious to the bits. The only problem I had was the measurement used - cups, half stick butter, etc.

Blueberry Muffins
(Recipe adapted from Hooney's The Best Blueberry Muffins)
Makes 12 muffins.
Ingredients/ Method:

Lemon-Sugar Topping
1/3 cup sugar (I used Turbinado Sugar)
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated zest from 1 lemon
2 cups fresh blueberries, picked over
1 1/8 cups sugar plus 1 teaspoon
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick or 56.5gm) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk (may substitute with 3/4 cup plain whole-milk or low-fat yogurt thinned with 1/4 cup milk)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

FOR THE TOPPING: Stir together sugar and lemon zest in small bowl until combined; set aside.

1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees F (or 218 deg C).
2. Spray standard muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
3. Bring 1 cup blueberries and 1 teaspoon sugar to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat.
4. Cook, mashing berries with spoon several times and stirring frequently, until berries have broken down and mixture is thickened and reduced to ¼ cup, about 6 minutes. Transfer to small bowl and cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.
5. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in large bowl.
6. Whisk remaining 11/8 cups sugar and eggs together in medium bowl until thick and homogeneous,about 45 seconds.
7. Slowly whisk in butter and oil until combined.
8. Whisk in buttermilk and vanilla until combined.
9. Using rubber spatula, fold egg mixture and remaining cup blueberries into flour mixture until just moistened. (Batter will be very lumpy with few spots of dry flour; do not overmix.)
10. Use ice cream scoop or large spoon to divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups (batter should completely fill cups and mound slightly).
11. Spoon teaspoon of cooked berry mixture into center of each mound of batter.
12. Using chopstick or skewer, gently swirl berry filling into batter using figure-eight motion.
13. Sprinkle lemon sugar evenly over muffins.
14. Bake until muffin tops are golden and just firm, 17 to 19 minutes, rotating muffin tin from front to back halfway through baking time.
15. Cool muffins in muffin tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool 5 minutes before serving.

As we had to settle our own breakfast during the first week of our stay (both my sis & bro-in-law were out at work on some days), we created "chaos" in the kitchen. One of the brekky items I prepared is the soft & fluffy pancakes. I like how easy it was to prepare and the result is real good. This is a keeper!

Fluffy Pancakes
Recipe adapted from Wen's Delight)

Ingredients/ Method:
150g Self raising flour
50g Sugar
1/4 tsp salt
110ml Fresh milk
1 egg
1 tbsp Corn oil

1. Mix flour, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl.
2. Add in egg, milk and corn oil, use a hand whisk to stir well.
3. Spoon batter onto a non-stick pan (without oil) to pan fry until golden brown on both sides.
4. Serve hot with maple syrup/jam.

Lao po bing (Wife's biscuit) & POP

This is my longest break from blogging and I was almost contemplating to neglect it totally. I'm so sorry if anyone is waiting for an update on this 'pathetic' blog, that is if there is anyone LOL. I can't promise a regular posting but will try my best to keep my hobby going and this blog alive.

Actually, there are a couple of recipes that I will be posting, but this Lao Po Bing "step-by-step" will take priority as it's a long overdue request & promise. I only managed to get it done whilst I was on my 3-weeks holiday at my sis' place in US. This recipe originated from Florence's Do What I Like, but it seems that the post cannot be found in Florence's blog anymore.

Ingredients/ Method:
Water dough
100g cake flour
25g icing sugar
25g butter (cubed) or shortening or margarine or lard
40g water
Oil dough
100g cake flour
45-50g shortening or lard
50g candied winter melon, chopped to bite size
55-60g castor sugar
70g commercialised glutinous rice flour (koh fun)
18g shortening
15g white sesame seeds, roasted
12g dessicated coconut (can be omitted)
120g boiled drinking water, room temp.
Egg Wash
1 yolk + 1 tsp water + a pinch of salt

1. Pastry:
Water dough: Rub butter into sieved flour and icing sugar till breadcrumb-like. Add in water till a pliable dough is formed. Cling wrap dough and rest for 30 to 45 mins. Divide dough into 12 equal portions.

Oil dough: Rub shortening into flour till well mixed. Cling wrap and leave it aside to rest for 30 to 45 mins. Divide dough into 12 equal portions.

2. Filling: Put all ingredients into a big bowl, mix till well combined. Divide filling into 12 equal portions.

3. Flatten a piece of water dough. Place a piece of oil dough in the centre of water dough.

4. Wrap oil dough with water dough.

5. Press and roll out dough into a longish flat piece with a rolling pin. (I didn't do a good job here.)

6. Roll it up like swissroll style.

7. Turn the dough 90 degrees.

8. Roll it into a longish flat piece.
9. Roll it up like swissroll style again.

10. Pinch the 2 side edges.

11. Using hand, shape it into a flat circular shape.

12. Place the filling in the centre of the flatten dough.

13. Wrap up the filling with the dough. Ensure dough completely covers the filling.

14. Using hand, roll the dough to make it like a round ball. Then flatten it with a rolling pin. Egg wash the dough.

15. Bake in pre-heated oven at 200 deg C for 20 to 25 mins or until golden brown.

POP (Pig Out Party)

Just last Saturday, I attended my 2nd bloggers' party which was initiated by Eelin and it was held at Jo's cosy home. In fact, I'm surprised initially with the invitation but very happy that I got invited. Since my baking bug hasn't returned, I'd chosen to bring tau suan instead of baked stuff. All my other blogger friends put in so much efforts and brought along super sumptuous and tempting homemade TLC cakes, puffs, ice-cream, pizza, fried fritters, chwee kueh, and alot more. The gathering was very enjoyable and I look forward to another one soon. I promised to do a proper dish the next time! You can visit the wonderful blog of my friends here, plus many of them have put up pictures that will make you salivate & envious of our POP party.

Eelin of The batter baker
Jo of Sugar & everything nice
Edith of Precious moments
Jane of Passionate about baking
Doris of Tested & tasted
Jess of J3ss kitch3n
Zhou Yuan of Baking library
Grace of Kitchen corner
Bee Bee of Honey bee sweet
Cathy of Cathy's joy