Saturday, 9 July 2016

Lemon Meringue Tarts

My backyard has a lemon tree and always produces plenty of large lemons almost the whole year round. I always make a joke about my lemon tree with my husband, once we had to cut some of branches off because they had become too heavy and the lemon tree may fall. 
Lemon meringue tart is one of my auntie's favorite, she loves any sour dessert, she said "because it's not too rich" and I agree with her, sour taste makes desserts more interesting by the contrast of sweet & sour.

Shortcrust Pastry 
200 g. plain flour
50 g. almond meal
100 g. butter
2 tsp salt
1 egg yolk
2 tbs cold milk or cold water

Lemon Curd
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup corn flour 
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup lemon juice 
Knop of butter
Lemon zest 

Italian Meringue 
1 cup sugar
100 ml. water
3 egg whites
Pinch of cream of tartar

 To make shortcrust pastry
1. Preheat the oven to 180c degree. 
2. Place the flour, salt, almond meal & butter in the bowl of the food processor and mix until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs then add egg yolk and milk then mix until the dough just comes together. Lightly knead then wrap with plastic and refrigerate for 30 mins. 
3.Roll pastry, using the rolling pin, on the lightly floured surface to about 3 mm. thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut out circles slightly larger the the opening in the mould (I'm using mini muffin tray) and place in mould making sure of a snug fit. Next prick the centre of each mould with a fork several times. Bake for approximately 15 mins. Rest on a cooling rack to cool.

To make lemon curd filling
1. Beat the egg yolks in the large bowl and set aside. 
2. Combine lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, water and cornflour together into the sauce pan, stir until the flour dissolves then turn the heat to low. Keep stirring until the mixture becomes thick, remove from heat and pour the egg yolks in, stirring for 30sec then return to very low heat and stirring at all time until the mixture becomes a thick custard. Remove from the heat. Add butter and stir to combine.
3. Pour the lemon filling into a shortcrust pastry. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
To make Italian meringue
1. Use the electric mixture beat the egg whites and cream of tartar together, using a whisk attachment until soft peaks form.
2. Meanwhile, combine sugar and water together in a small sauce pan, bring to the boil until sugar dissolves, brushing side of the pan with a wet pastry brush. Reduce heat to medium until sugar syrup reach 121c degree or hard ball stage on a thermometer, gradually pour syrup into egg white mixture while whisking with high speed, continue whisking until thick and the bottom of the bowl cooled to room temperature.
Spoon meringue on top of the tarts use the back of tea spoon to make large swirls to create peaks. Use blowtorch to caramelise meringue. Refrigerate befor serve.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Cream puffs with 3 flavours of custard filling.

Cream puff is one of my all time favorite dessert. I love custard filling, it melts in my mouth and almost oozing out when I bite. Today I make 3 flavours of custard, mocha & Kahlua, vanilla and green tea. 
I always start by making custard first to allow time to cool before piping in the cool shells.

Custard ingredients 
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
250 mls water
250 mls evaporate milk or half and half
50g butter
50g cornflour
Pinch of salt 

Also needed
for vanilla flavour
2 tsp vanilla paste

For mocha flavour
2-3 tbs Kahlua + 25g dark chocolate + 1tsp coffee 

For green tea flavour
2 tbs matcha powder

1. Combine water, evaporate milk and cornflour in the pot. Set aside.
2. Wisk sugar and eggs with electric mixer until light and fluffy then transfer to the sauce pan and turn stove on with medium-low heat. Keep stirring until it becomes thick, roughly about 10 mins. Remove from heat.
3. Separate custard in to 3 bowls. 
For the first bowl combine chocolate, coffee and Kahlua with custard while custard still hot.
For the second bowl combine with green tea.
For the third bowl combine with vanilla paste.
4. Cover all custard bowls with plastic wrap by pressing plastic wrap to the surface of custard. Transfer to the fridge to cool.
Puffs ingredients 
100g. butter
230 mls. water
1 tbs sugar
Pinch of salt
1 cup plain flour
3 eggs

1. Preheat the oven to 220c.
2. Put water, butter, sugar and salt together in the large sauce pan then put over the medium heat bring to a boil until butter completely melt then turn the heat down to low.
3. Add in flour and stir until the mixture forms a ball.
4. Transfer dough to electric mixer bowl with paddle attachment, beat until the mixture gets warm to touch then slowly add in the eggs one at a time. Continue beat for at least 2 mins after adding the last egg.
5. Transfer the mixture to piping bag and pipe on a baking sheet about 3 inches apart. Slightly press the tip of the dough down with a wet finger.
6. Bake for 10-15 mins then turn the heat down to 180c and bake for another 10 mins or until puffs become medium golden brown. Remove from the oven, then allow to cool on the cooling rack.
8. Pipe the custard into the shell. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar before serving.
Choux à la crèam

Enjoy baking.
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