jeudi, février 11, 2010

Raspberry Truffle Tart

For dinner at a friend's house last Monday, I made raspberry truffle tart for dessert. The mix of chocolate and raspberry intrigues me. So, I smell a challenge. Reading the recipe, it's not that hard.. and there is no white egg involve here.. phew what a relief!!!

As usual, I get my recipe from Joy of Baking.

It is not the season for raspberry. I tried to get fresh ones at the market but it's very expensive. So I settled with frozen raspberry sauce. I found it in the fridge where there are also ice creams. Otherwise, I think frozen raspberry can be used too.

Here are some photos from this adventure. Then followed by the recipe from Joy of Baking.

Verdict: Easy to make, yummy to eat!! Not to mention the licking off the spatula and bowl.. blisssss

Raspberry Truffle Tart
Biscotti Crust:
8 ounces (225 grams) store bought biscotti, broken into pieces
5 - 6 tablespoons (70 - 84 grams) unsalted butter, melted

1/3 cup raspberry sauce (recipe follows)
10 ounces (280 grams) semi sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup (240 ml) heavy whipping cream

Raspberry Sauce:
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
2 tablespoons (30 grams) granulated white sugar, or to taste

Fresh raspberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degree C). Have ready a 8 - 9 inch (20 - 23 cm) fluted tart pan.

Biscotti Crust: In your food processor, place the biscotti and process until finely ground. Transfer to a bowl and add the melted butter. Stir to combine. Press this mixture over the bottom and up the sides of the tart pan. Bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely before adding the filling.

Filling: First, we need to make the raspberry sauce. Place 1 cup of fresh or frozen raspberries, that have been thawed, in your food processor and process until the raspberries are broken up. Pour into a strainer, set over a bowl, and press on the raspberries to extract the juice. Add sugar to taste. Set aside.

Place the chopped chocolate in a medium sized stainless steel bowl. Set aside. Heat the cream in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir until smooth. Stir in 1/3 cup of the raspberry sauce. Pour the chocolate filling into the baked and cooled crust, smoothing the top with an offset spatula. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

To Serve: Cut into small slices and serve with fresh raspberries and with any of the remaining raspberry sauce. Can also serve with whipped cream or cr?e fra?he.

Makes one - 8 - 9 inch (20 - 23 cm) tart. Serves 12 - 14 people.

samedi, février 06, 2010

Patisserie Challenge 1 - French Macarons

Two weeks ago, all of the sudden I imagine myself making the french macarons. I don't know why suddenly I had the urge to make this patisserie. If you don't know what french macarons are, then just google image it, and you will find the pictures of this delectable patisserie. Well, one might say it's a sandwich biscuit. Weeell... it's partly true. This is because it's a french recipe. The french (or known as frenchies) values their foods and arts, and thus french gastronomies are made to be challenging. I like challenge :D
French macarons can be either sweet or salty. I mean you can make as much variation of ingredients as you want to. And of course, be creative!

So here I am googling for various way of making french macarons (note that it's different from macaroons). Anyway, I searched high and low from youtube to google to recipe books at shops. I noticed that the basic ingredients are: egg white, sugar, powdered almonds. I learned also a french patisserie expression: tant pour tant. That means "tant d'amandes pour tant sucre glace" - same amount of powdered almonds for same amount of powdered sugar. :D

Finally I've settled with 2 youtube videos, and 1 recipe.
The youtube videos are:
- From Stephane L'Ecuyer TV with Christophe Morel as a guest. Be careful, Stephane is quebecois, so it's hard to get what he's saying LOL
- Macarons tutorials by Kitchen Musings

The recipe is from Kitchen Musings:
- Kitchen Musings blog: The blogger made different tests which I like. You will see afterwards that this is a really challenging patisserie. If you read the blog, she went to macaron course in Paris at Atelier Pierre Herme!!!! I wish I could go there. But the price? 760 euros for 2 days (14 hours) class.. yikes!!!!!

This is what I use:
125g powdered almond
250g powdered sugar
3 white eggs
25g granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
pinch of salt

1. First, sift twice powdered almonds, powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Send aside.
2. Beat the white eggs with pinch of salt, and gradually add in the granulated sugar until stiff.
3. Add the dry ingredient gradually into the stiff meringue.
4. Using the 'macaronage' technique, fold the ingredients to release the air.
5. By this time the mixture should be sticky, thick and did not fall to bottom.
6. Put the mixture into piping bag and pipe out onto the parchment papers.
7. Leave them for about 30 minutes until the shells are air-dried.
8. Put into the oven (pre-heat with 150C), bake for 11 minutes.

You see I still have to master my piping skill.. LOL

I am so HAPPY that my macarons shells grew 'feet' :D

As you can see, I made chocolate macaron shells. So the middle should be filled in with chocolate ganache. I am already tired to make the chocolate ganache, though it will take online few minutes.

But here it is a sample of my macaron with nutella filling :D

However, as I said at the start of this entry, this is not an easy patisserie. That means there are some things that need practice for perfection.

Note to myself:
- Practice on 'macaronage' technique in order to get a really sticky mixture and that does not 'drop'
- Practice on piping so that the shells are of the same sizes
- Make a research as to why some of the shells wrinkle on the top
- 11 minutes can be too long with 150C. Need to see if less cooking time or lower temperature with longer cooking time
- Successful meringue! So the beater needs to put at very high level (4-5)

I'm looking forward to make a perfect macaron in the future :D

mardi, février 02, 2010

Kari Tepung (Curry with Flour??)

Last December, when I visited my relatives in Penang, Malaysia, my aunt cooked us this dish. This is curry with prawn and pieces of flour dough. I was thinking of it recently and I thought I give it a try. To do on my own. Last weekend, I stayed in Brussels, so it give me opportunity to do get some stuff and do some cookings. After several expensive text messages with my aunt in Penang, here we go!

First of all, I'm going to put on here the recipe. More like instruction that she sent to me via sms.
And I quote
"...labu air,udang, tepung, tomato,bawang masuk dalam peruk[sic] bubuh santan dan kari daging. Masak sampai tepung lembut tutup api. Goreng bawang dah kuning bubuh daun kari tutup api curah dalam kuah tepung tadi. Siap dah"

So let me put it in the way I understand it.

1 gourd (this is an asian vegetables. It looks like pumpkin of sort but light green with white inside. You can get it in asian shops. But as you can see later, I substitute this with okras)
About 200 grams of normal size prawn
1 tomato
1 onion
Curry paste (beef curry) - I use Thai red curry paste
About 250ml coconut milk

Additional items:
1 onion (again)
Curry leaves

For the flour dough:

Salt to taste

For the dough
- add water to the flour. Add the water gradually until you obtain a round dough. It depends on how much you want to put in it and how much curry you are making.
- roll the dough until it becomes flat (see picture below)
- fry on a non-stick pan with no oil (see picture below)
- then cut it into pieces (see picture below)

For the curry:
- put some oil in the pan
- add curry paste and chopped onion
- fry until fragrant
- add the coconut milk, gourd (in my case, the okras), sliced tomato, prawns.
- add the flour pieces
- if needed you can add a little bit of water.
- simmer until the gourd (or okras) is cooked

While waiting for the curry to simmer, fry the "additional items" - onion and curry leaves.
I omitted this step because I don't have curry leaves. Instead I put in fried onion.

Once all is done... serve with hot white rice...

For your information, this is the original recipe cooked by my aunt, looks like. Picture took while I was in Penang. Hmm.. I think I should make my curry less thick and the flour thinner....