Art you Eat #5 (Autumn Edition)
It was after the episode of the pumpkin cupcakes from TWD that I was hooked on using pumpkin as an ingredient in my bakes. Pumpkin, once roasted and pureed existed in such a wonderful form. Both rich and insanely moist. Combined with all the spice that usually accompanies it, it was destined for greatness. At least under my palate, given that I had such a knack for sugar and spice.
Also since I had a little bit of sour cream left in the fridge. I thought to myself why not? Pumpkin = moisture, combined with sour cream, it should yield the most beautiful product with a lucious texture. And holding that thought in mind, I scanned through my books for an apt recipe. And viola! oh no!!! not another Dorie Greenspan recipe again? I shouldn't have... oh.. whatever...
I reach a stage where i couldn't decide between pie crust dough or sweet tart dough. I contemplated on replacing the pie crust with pate sucree instead but settled for the former as i thought the more rustic feel would work better with the pumpkin fillings. But in the end, I baked the pie in a elongated tart pan. How contradictory? And below are the recipes for the pie crust dough as well as the Sour cream pumpkin fillings together with my modification notes!
Good for Almost Everything Pie Dough
- makes enough for a 9-inch single crust -
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 sticks very cold (frozen is fine) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces
2 1/2 tablespoons very cold (frozen is even better) vegetable shortening (non-trans fat), cut into 2 pieces
About 1/4 cup ice water
Put the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor fitted with a metal blade; pulse just to combine the ingredients. Drop in the butter and shortening and pulse only until the butter and shortening are cut into the flour. Don't overdo the mixing—what you're aiming for is to have pieces the size of fat green peas and others the size of barley. Pulsing the machine on and off, add 3 tablespoons of the water—add a little water and pulse once; add some more water and pulse again; and keep going that way. Then use a few long pulses to get the water into the flour. If after a dozen or so pulses, the dough doesn't look evenly moistened or form soft curds, pulse in as much of the remaining water, or even a few drops more, to get a dough that will stick together when pinched. If you've got big pieces of butter, that's fine. The dough is ready and should be scraped out of the work bowl and on to a smooth work surface.
Shape the dough into a disk and wrap it. Refrigerate the dough at least 1 hour before rolling. (If the ingredients were very cold and you worked very quickly, you might be able to roll the dough immediately—you'll know: the dough will be as cold as if it had just come out of the fridge.) The dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 1 month.
Once the dough is fitted into the pie plate, refrigerate it again. If you don't have time for a longish chill, just keep the pie plate in the fridge while you preheat the oven.
To Partially Bake a Single Crust: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil (or use nonstick foil), fit the foil, buttered side down, tightly against the crust and fill with dried beans or rice. Put the pie plate on a baking sheet and bake the crust for 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and weights and, if the crust has puffed, press it down with the side of a spoon (or lightly prick the crust). Return the pie to the oven and bake for about 8 minutes more, or until the crust is very lightly colored. Transfer the pie plate to a rack and cool to room temperature before filling.
Sour Cream Pumpkin Pie (or Tart)
- makes 6 to 8 servings -Adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours
1 9-inch single crust made with Good for Almost Everything Pie Dough (see recipe below), partially baked and cooled, or one 9-inch tart shell made with Sweet Tart Dough, partially baked and cooled
2 cups (canned) unsweetened pumpkin puree ( i used 1 cup homemade pumpkin puree)
3 large eggs, at room temperature (i used 2)
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar (i used 1/4 cup white sugar and 1/2 cup light brown sugar)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 cups heavy cream ( i used 3/4 cups heavy cream)
1/3 cup sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
Pinch of ground cloves
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of salt
3 tablespoons dark rum
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Lightly sweetened lightly whipped cream, for topping
Getting ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat and put the pie plate (or tart pan) on it.
Put all of the filling ingredients in a food processor and process for 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Alternatively, you can whisk the ingredients together vigorously in a mixing bowl. Rap either the work bowl or mixing bowl against the counter to burst any surface bubbles, and pour the filling into the crust.
Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 300°F and continue to bake for 35 to 45 minutes longer (20 to 25 minutes for a tart), or until a knife inserted close to the center comes out clean. (If you don't want to create a slash in your masterpiece, tap the pan gently—if the custard doesn't jiggle, or only jiggles a teensy bit in the very center, it's done.) Transfer the pie (or tart) to a rack and cool to room temperature.
Serving: Pumpkin pie and whipped cream are naturals and, if you've tested the pie's doneness with a knife, you might want to serve the whipped cream as a cover-up. I like this pie chilled, but others are fans of it at room temperature – decide for yourself.
Storing: Like most pies, this one is best served the day it is made. However, you can make the pie early in the day and keep it refrigerated until needed.
Verdict: I love the warmth of the pie combined with the crispy and flaky pie crust. The pumpkin and sour cream melded together to form a rich and velvety texture that I loved. Kudos! By the way, this is my entry for Art You Eat #5 : Autumn! Please stay tuned for the round-up to!
Just a little special for my readers out there. Read carefully if you're suffering from some hardcore shopping cravings!
I've recently made purchases from Yellow Pie Hole . (do please check out their site.) Open their webpage and I'm sure the whimsical little carvings and pendants will put a smile on your face. Take for instance the little dinosaur pendant! my gosh.. how cute! Pair that off with a plain tee top and you're set the rock the town!
Another plus point is the incredibly patient owner who kindly attended to my requests when some minor mishaps occured during the course of delivery. Kudos to her!
Chocolate... a word that first pops to mind when you step into a cake shop. Simple unadulterated glossy rich goodness, all in the form of moist cakes, crisp waffles laden with a generous slathering of chocolate spread, heavenly chocolate ice-creams and pudgey eclairs bursting in its seams with thick chocolate pastry cream.
Funny thing is that chocolate has the opposite effect to me as do bananas. I do much prefer them in its solid state ( a.k.a solid bars of good quality chocolate) as compared to their many variations when incorporated into desserts. In fact, place me in front of a pastry display case and I'll be sure to choose that pistachio and apricot gateux over that lovely chocolate tart or eclair anytime!
But, no one can deny the 'happy' effects that accompanies every chocolate treats. And every once in a while, I'll reach out for that bar of white chocolate ( silly me..) or dark chocolate bar for that extra special reward.
This week, Clara of I heart food4thought chose Chocolate Chocolate-Cupcakes for this week's round of TWD. Well timed of course since I was keen on experimenting with chocolate cake recipes. I followed the recipe without much alterations except for the piping of nutella into the centres of the cakes. An extra surprise for the undiscerning. And gosh.. it went down so well with everyone who managed to lay their hands on it. The cake was light and fluffy whereas the ganache topping, luciously smooth. Topped with Valrhona crunchy pearls once again and a vibrant red flower, these were absolutely perfect!
Thanks Clara for choosing this recipe. Pity I didn't manage to decorate them with the halloween theme. For more cupcakes, visit the TWD Blogroll!
my very first mingle with the lovely crew from yet again another baking event The Monthly Mingle hosted by MeetaK over at What's for Lunch Honey? The theme for this round-up. Coffee and Tea! Boy am i ecstatic. Two of my must have drinks in the whole world combined in a galore of recipes housed under one roof. I can't wait for the round-up.
But then again, here's my penny's worth. My entry would be a Vanilla Cream Cheese Panna Cotta layered with coffee gelee and studded with Valrhona Crunchy Pearls!
I made this as one of the trio of desserts i mentioned earlier for a family barbeque including the cappuccino chiffon cake (for cakeslice bakers), a french apple tart and this little baby here. To be honest, this dessert was backbreaking work. So don't try it unless you think you've got lots of time on your hands. I on the other hand was disillusionised to think that I had lots of time on mine. Wishful thinking. Halfway through the ardous night, I was left stranded like a beached whale in my kitchen just regretting my choice. *ouch*
Nonethless, it worked out to be a beautiful dessert. Looking extremely elegant in the individual glasses. The taste, was spot on, the cream cheese panna cotta layers carrying a creamy texture with a tiny bit of tang and the coffee gelee providing an excellent bittersweet contrast. The Valrhona pearls scattered over the tops added a bit of body and crunch to the entire package. All in all, a delightful dessert.
so with the offset of the glorious autumm season, I can only sit at home and dream of the orange, red and yellow carpets of fallen leaves and the bare naked tree branches shivering in the early winter winds.
Perhaps it's just my silent yearning. It's always been a dream of mine, to be able to take in the seasonal weather phenomenons such as the auroras or northern lights, the blissful showers of sakuras in Japan and most of all the colorful shards of fall colors that pile up high every autumm. Scenes like that to change your life. Holding so much peace, so much composure in each and every angle. It just puts you at ease with life and the entiriety of the higher power.
This week, dearest Kelly of Sounding my Barbaric Gulp chose for all of us to do the Pumpkin Muffins. When i close my eyes and resonate the word pumpkin in my head, i imgaine an unadulterated world of warmth, comfort and joy of companionship and family. It's no wonder, with all that spices thrown in, I could perhaps get a little piece of the warmth involved...
After making the pumpkin puree from scratch ( had been on the hunt for the canned pumpkin puree for ages, then decided to do my own instead), which involved a simple slow baking for 1 hour to reduce the pumpkin to a soft mush and then putting it in the food processor. I added everything as per se in the recipe. Reason being, i was a little too lazy for modification. So i did add sliced almonds instead of pumpkin seeds over the top; a change which i loved since i absolutely adore the crispy bits sticking out of the rocky beds. Other than that, the recipe was a pleaser. THe muffins could use a spreading of marmalade too...
Looking forward to the chocolate-chocolate cupcakes next week!
i just noticed it's my 500th post! *beams*
Twelve + One
Patisserie. Bakery. Cafe
It all started with some careless flipping of the newspapers. Hmph.. Twelve + One @ Rochester Park? I contemplated for a while, weighed the pros and cons between the two choices, Laurent Bernard's Cafe and Chocolate Bar and Twelve + One. Since I were to be making the trip together with Fen and Evan, I thought it would be nice to try out the newly opened establishment at rochester instead since Fen had already visited Laurent's upon a few occasions. Aren't I sweet and thoughtful?
Honestly, the truth is that I've never had a penchant for chocolate pastries. I, to suffer from a chocolate overload was nothing that I desired at that moment.. haha.
The four of us, Fen, Yuan, Evan and I then ventured into rochester on a lovely saturday afternoon. The sweltering heat and harsh lighting somehow just made the experience a whole lot better as we retreated into the comforts of a cottage-like colonial bungalow.
As we took our first midget steps into the cafe, we were greeted by blasts of lovely pastel pink and white motifs. Shelfs of bottled homemade jams and other goodies lined the walls. Dainty pastries and packed biscuits sat in pretty little wicker baskets on the other side. And a centralised glass case showcasing the artfully tasty desserts of the day. It was certainly a sight for sore eyes. (For more photos please go to Evan's site!)
After a bout of snapping and trigger-happy moments, we settled down to our table at the corner of the elongated dining area. The table was certainly a work of art. With its wicker seated chair and its lace cloth lined table tops, it reminded me of a scene out of a Martha Stewert Home Decor Book. The natural light spilled in throught the window panes which were side-drapped with blue curtains. How quaint. Just seating within the premises gave me such a homely feel. I was immediately drawn to the harmony of the lush forested surroundings and the lovely secluded cottage style decor. Definitely fit for a queen! not that i think i'm the queen or anything... heh.
We ordered our drinks first. I had my cappuccino. And boy was it good.. had been craving for one since.. yesterday! hah. The onslaught of desserts followed. Alright now, so lets do a little introduction game.
This is Morgane ( $7), an entrement made of blackberry, cassis and champagne (as quoted from Evan's Blog because other than the blackberry's presence, I couldn't decipher the rest of the component layers). Well, let's just say this cake is a wolf in sheep's clothing. Pretty on the outside but empty on the inside. Other than the slight tangy kick i got from the blackberry jam layer, I didn't quite like the rest of it.the petit fours sampler ($7 for 6) comprising of tartlets, macarons and mignardises. These i felt were again not up to standard. Should you be interested in little pastries such as this, please do give Caffe Cova a try, it may be a little pricey though. The most disappointing of the lot were the macarons. The pistachio macarons beared zilch flavor of any pistachios, the shell comprised of a large pocket of air that proceeded to a cracking shell soon after i laid my spoon through it. Furthermore, the pastel shade of green almost close to mint was very unappetising for me. haha. Never try to inject too much color into my diet. It just irks me...
And finally this is Mistral ($7), my pistachio baby. I really liked this one, the classic combination of apricots and pistachios revisted once. The cake was a delight to nibble at, every bite comprising of almond biscuit joconde layer, a divine pistachio creme and apricot preserves. This for me certainly was a luxury on the palate.
And here's a shot of our entire spread of desserts. I didn't mention the tiramisu and chocolate tart because of their mediocre status. The Chocolate eclair ($6) however, is a whole different world together. The choux pastry was soft and tender and the chocolate pastry creme rich and velvety. Much like the one I had at Pan pacific a long time back except in skinny mode. And after the disappointing one we had the last time, I hope this experience made up for it Evan!
my gosh, just doing this post makes me want to head back there again! So craving for some afternoon tea yet? please head down to Twelve + One then. Be transported back to a different era with this truely vintage experience.
Thanks Fen, Yuan and Evan for the lovely afternoon! Let's do this again soon... Brad wanna join in?
When life gives you bananas...
you roast them and throw them into ice cream!!!
well that's exactly what i did here..
recipe taken from David Lebovitz 'The Perfect Scoop'
Roasted Banana Ice Cream
makes about 1 Liter
3 medium-sized bananas, peeled
1/3 cup (70g) packed light brown sugar
1 tblspoon butter, salted or unsalted, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 tblspoon granulated sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp coarse salt
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees celcius
- Slice bananas into 1/2 inch thick slickes and toss them with brown sugar and butter in 2 liter baking dish. Bake for 40mins. Stirring just once during the process, until bananas are browned and cooked through.
- Scrape bananas and the thick syrup into a blender and add milk, granulated sugar, vanilla, lemon juice and salt and puree till smooth.
- Chill mixture thoroughly in the fridge then freeze in the icecream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.
the malt ice cream recipe looks pretty tempting.. hehe.
Sweet fix: Whisk: Bakery & Cafe
and so my sweet tooth led me to this place...after having passed by the place on two occasions to stop by the shop next door swirl gelateria to grab a cup of icecream. darn my gluttony. but i must admit the mascarpone geleto is delici-ous! and you must try it if you're in the vicinity. Forget about island creamery! give a chance to this store instead!. i digress.
Okay, returning back to the point of me..no.. i reviewing whisk. Yes.. situated in the less popular crown centre along Bukit Timah road, the little bakery and cafe seemed to recieve little attention despite the many 'full houses' in the resturants nearby. With it's alarmingly red 'finger' cushion chairs and subtle black outlinings, it proved to be a cosy place for a cup of coffee and a dainty pastry to go along. Having passed by here before, i distinctly remember the 3-D Gucci Bag modelled cake in the display window the last time. That was enough to make me come back again, even if to appease my curiousity with regards to the quality of cakes they served up in the tiny eatery.
During my 2nd visit, the cake was gone. However, the other desserts in the were alluring enough with their fanciful chocolate decorations, fans, ruffles, transfer patterns, gold sprinkles and all. The lady staff, whom i reckon could have been one of the operating managers approached us and gave a thorough explanation of the components of the cakes available. In the end, after some tough brain wrecking, my bf and I ordered the autumn passion ( a combination of chocolate and coffee) , a cappuccino and a watermelon juice.
We then proceeded to the sofa seats and settled down with the accompaniment of a fine selection of magazines provided by the cafe. The orders soon arrived. ahh.. coffee.. i relented. The watermelon juice was excellent and very fresh as reviewed by the boyfried. And the cake.. hmph.. how should i put it.. *pondering*..
It was excellent. The deep dark flavor of chocolate in the mousse was heightened by the addition of coffee. Tiny details such as the gold-powdered coffee beans helped to provide an insight to the dessert, the tempered chocolate ball that topped the dessert together with the honey-combed like chocolate biscuit that crowned the cake provided excellent textural contrast to the gentle mousse. The best thing happened when we hit the middle of the cake. What was that? we had struck liquid gold!!! Dark chocolate sauce flavored with hints of coffee liquor encased in a chocolate shell dangling in mid-mousse heaven. How ingenious! and boy was it good.
Whisk: Bakery & Cafe
557 Bukit Timah Road, #01-12/13
Tel: 6465 0438
Opening hours: 9am - 3am
Just a personalised fondant topped cupcake design that i was working on for a customer of mine.
Guess I'll be offering this service more in the future...
the customisation thingy kills me sometimes though. All the brainstorming... argh.
Meantime, as Sihan struggles to stay afloat in the torential flow of fierce currents downstream, she still goes places...
Cupcakes at the mercy of the judgement of Pastry Chef at Shangri-la? 8/10 rating.. not too bad huh?
Food tasting session @ ThaiPan on thursday sponsered by Hungrygowhere. Benefits of having a highly viewed profile. *shrugs*.. who could turn down a free meal?
Craving for Amedei Coffee Crunch Ice-cream. *swoons*
After a long hiatus from the Cupcake Hero.. hmph. no exact reason why but somehow things just didn't work out with every season come and go. However, with the Cupcake hero's new website and big birthday.. i knew i had to make an exception for this occasion!
The theme for this round is Baker's Choice. Meaning that we had to choose at least 2 themes from the past year and combine them into one wacky invention! I choose.. *hmph..swaying finger up and down the list* Lime, Clove, Mint and Liquor!!! I wonder if i qualify for Earth Day too since my cupcake is green in color. hehe. Presenting to you my Mojito Cupcake!!!
While frantically searching for ways to hold the crumbling themes together. Somehow they seem worlds apart when listed in a dotted list.. argh. A base recipe from the lovely 'Cakelove' book by Warren Brown caught my eye. It was the Mojito Cake recipe containing traces of pound up Clove, mint, Lime zest and juice as well as ardous amounts of rum and limoncello! I was psyched! this was it!!! Being set on not going down the path of chocolates and cocoa, i was elated to have found this recipe.. and all in time for cupcake hero too!
And to top the whole thing off, i swaggered a nice finish of italian meringue buttercream on the top.. and of course flavored heavily with MORE rum!!! With a dusting of lemon rimming sugar. This lovely cocktail cupcake was ready to go!!! the verdict... mum said it was nicer than my usual oreo cupcakes. That's a good sign, and the rum flavor was superb in the cake itself.. surprisingly... YAY! to be honest. I have only tried mojito as a cocktail once.. and that was eons again. Perhaps I should get myself a drink.. hmph...
That's all folks! Please visit the Cupcake Hero site for more goodies!