This tart is quite possibly the best thing I’ve made all year, I couldn’t stop eating it! It has a bold, sweet-savoury flavour which I find super addictive. The whole composition of the tart- the olive oil wholewheat crust, apricot-rosemary jam and goats’ cheese is just so bizzarre and new to me, but so clever! The apricot-rosemary jam is seriously the best jam I’ve ever had- sweet, slightly tart and a touch herbal from the rosemary which helps balance the sweetness. And I’ve never made a crust like this, it’s completely different from the pâte sucrée and pâte brisee we make in school, there’s no butter or egg in it, the entire thing is bound together with olive oil and lemon juice! Totally weird, but so good. It’s crunchy and crumbly, with nubbly bits of oatmeal and oat bran. The recipe is from one of my favourite French blogs, 543 pages avant la fin du monde.
This weekend was full of yeasty experiments, I made a black sesame braided loaf, a plain milk loaf and croissants. My intention for making croissants was to use my newly discovered ingredient, a jar of rose petal jam that I had chanced upon in a Middle Eastern grocery shop in Edgware road. It’s very floral, rose-y but assertively sweet, so I thought a buttery, flakey croissant would be the perfect blank canvas for the flavour of the jam to shine but not overwhelm. I’d only ended up making two croissants with jam in the middle as I was worried the jam would leak terribly and make the croissants stick to the baking sheet. I needn’t worry though as even though it did leak slightly it was perfectly ok and in fact it was so delicious! I had only spread a smidge of jam in the middle and it was the perfect amount, enough to perfume the croissant delicately and make it just a touch sweet.
I still have half of the croissant dough in the fridge, I’ll probably bake the rest of it with jam, and when I’m done with that I’m thinking of making little brioches filled with rose jam.. Or maybe mixing some of the jam with berries and making a galette, or spooning it over vanilla rice pudding.. or semolina? Or making little rose doughnuts.. hell yea definitely doughnuts! Maybe I should fill the doughnuts with rose crème diplomat instead of just jam? Or a rose bakewell tart? Rose linzer cookie? Rose pound cake?
Cette tarte est du livre de David Everitt Matthias, “Dessert”. Le livre est très bonne! Les recettes sont très créatifs et originaux, et les photos sont belles. Le recette utilise les jaunes d’ouefs de canard, mais j’ai utilise les jaunes d’ouef de poulet.
“This tart is from David Everitt Matthias’ book, “Dessert”. The book is amazing! The recipes are very creative and original, and the photos are so beautiful. The recipe uses duck egg yolks, but I used chicken yolks.”
I’ve had this recipe bookmarked since I got the book almost 3 years ago, but I only made it today.. what a shame! The “duck egg custard” in the title intrigued me, but ironically, I don’t quite like the overly egg-y flavour of duck eggs so I used normal hen eggs. It was really good, although my pâte sucrée crust was slightly soggy because I threw the entire thing into the fridge to cool it down quicker so we could eat it! The rhubarb was deliciously floral-fruity, and the custard! The custard was so silky smooth, like a dim sum egg tart.. Finally, ground ginger was lightly dusted and nutmeg grated over the custard before it was baked, and the tart emerged from the oven slightly puffed and the custard only just a tiny bit wobbly.
I love blueberries with green tea, I think it’s such a mellow and well-balanced pairing. I adapted Dorie Greenspan’s cheesecake recipe from her book, and changed it up quite a bit. I found hers slightly too sweet and salty, but texture wise, it was perfect for me- dense yet still fluffy..? And very creamy. Besides adding matcha powder and reducing the salt (I left the sugar amount as it was, as the bitterness of the green tea would need it) , I swapped the graham cracker crust for an oreo one. I just thought it’ll be a better crust for the green tea.
For an 8″ springform pan
1) Butter and line a springform pan and cover the base with 3 layers of foil. Preheat oven to 180ºC.
♡1 pack oreo cookies, cream removed
♡1 tablespoons sugar
♡55g unsalted butter, melted
1. Bash the cookies into crumbs, and mix with the sugar and melted butter.
2. Press into the base of the cake pan. I like to level the surface by pressing a slightly smaller cake pan into the one I’m using.
3. Bake in the 180ºC oven for 10 minutes
♡600g cream cheese, at room temperature
♡1/4 teaspoon salt
♡1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
♡3 eggs, at room temperature
♡215ml heavy cream
♡27g matcha powder
1. Beat the cream cheese with a stand mixer for 5 minutes.
2. Stream in the sugar and salt and continue beating for another 4 minutes until light and creamy.
3. Add eggs in 1 by 1 and then the vanilla.
4. Mix the heavy cream and matcha powder together. This will form a very thick paste. What I did was I thinned it with some of the cream cheese/egg mixture. When it’s slightly more liquid, pour this green tea “sludge” into the batter and beat it in. I do this so the matcha will be incorporated properly and won’t form lumps in the batter.
5. Bring water to a boil in a kettle and pour into a roasting dish larger than the cake pan, then place the cake pan in the bain marie.
6. Bake at 150ºC for 1 hour 15 minutes. The time varies according to your oven. It’s done when it jiggles only just slightly in the middle.
7. When baked, let it cool in the oven then chill in the fridge overnight. The texture improves after a few hours of refrigeration.
Blueberries & Cream
♡a handful of blueberries
1. Whip the cream to medium to stiff peaks and either simply spread it over the chilled cake or pipe it on. I chose the latter and piped it with a St Honoré tip.
2. Scatter blueberries over the cream.
I’ve been studying French since January, in anticipation of my future travels (or perhaps a short stay?) to Paris, so to stay motivated and to improve my grasp of the language, I’m going to blog a few short sentences in French, and hopefully will be able to write full paragraphs soon. So here goes! I’ll start with the famous French dessert, moelleux au chocolat.
Bien que je n’aime pas mange les desserts au chocolat, je suis complètement obsédée par ce moelleux au chocolat avec coeur de thé matcha. Le recette est de mon école, LCB, mais j’ai fait une modification- le coeur de thé matcha. C’est juste chocolat blanc et poudre de thé matcha.
“Although I don’t like chocolate desserts, I’m obsessed with this chocolate fondant with a matcha centre. The base recipe is from LCB, but I’ve made one modification- the matcha heart, which is just white chocolate and matcha powder.”
We made plated desserts in class this week, and one of the desserts was chocolate fondants. Because the fondants had to be baked à la minute we only made 2 each in class and took the rest of the batter home. I wasn’t quite pleased with the chocolate fondants on it’s own, so I made little matcha centres which I popped into the middle of the batter then baked.. it was DELICIOUS. Ooey, gooey, warm and sticky, and the tops crinkly and shiny like a good brownie. Oh, yes.
I suppose you could use any chocolate fondant recipe and insert a matcha heart in the middle; I made the matcha middles quite simply: I melted some white chocolate, stirred in some matcha powder then piped them in small silicone moulds and refrigerated them until they hardened. If you don’t have silicone moulds, just pour it into a small cake tin and cut them into pieces once chilled. When I was about to bake the cake, I just piped the fondant batter halfway up the moulds, pressed a matcha centre into the middle then piped more batter on top, then baked them off.
C’est tout! Miam!
I wish I knew more ways to eat roasted rhubarb.. I like to just stab them with a fork straight from the jar and pop them in my mouth, or have them with yoghurt, but it’s getting kinda boring. But I imagine the rhubarb syrup would make a pretty amazing cocktail! Rhubarb season, please don’t end! I used the recipe I learnt from Violet when I was working there, it’s really good- the recipe is in this book. I still have half a jar left.. what should I do with them?
I love carrots. I love baby sized cakes. These carrot baby cakes made me want to cry tears of joy. I used this Bon Appétit recipe, it’s super yummy! Soft, moist, warmly spiced, and perfectly carrot cake-y. The only thing I did differently was I omitted those pesky raisins and nuts.. I like my carrot cakes completely soft and pillow-like. I did add some dried cranberries and toasted coconut on top for crunch though, I just don’t like the crunch being in the cake. I also scaled down the frosting recipe by to a third and replaced the vanilla extract with 1/2 a vanilla bean, and thinned it down with single cream because I wanted the frosting runny enough to drip down the sides temptingly, lusciously, irresistibly..
I’m not a big chocolate person so I can’t really judge how good a chocolate cake is. But that being said, I do quite like this flourless chocolate cake from the Bourke Street Bakery cookbook with berries and cream. I brought one for dessert to my friend Ian’s house when he cooked us a truly glorious Italian meal, and we had it with raspberries and blackberries and a big scoop of clotted cream ice-cream It’s quite dense and very rich so a teensy slice is enough, and the cream and berries are so necessary. It’s truly a big pain to make though- I used every single bowl I own and several pots to make it! The eggs need to be whipped with sugar, chocolate melted over a bain marie, yoghurt and milk boiled in a small pan, a meringue needs to be made, AND cream had to be whipped.. argh.
However, I’m not quite happy enough with this recipe though, I think I’ll try River Cafe’s Nemesis cake next. The recipe is similar to this cake which is really good but.. somehow not what I’m looking for when I think of a flourless chocolate cake. It’s a super fudgy dense cake, like a chocolate fondant, but what I want looks exactly like this Bourke St one, lopsided and rustic with a sunken middle, but squidgier and mousse-ier instead of dense.. if you know what I mean? A simple solution would be to slightly underbake this but it kinda seems like cheating.. I think maybe I’ll try cooking it in a waterbath. But wrapping a loose bottom tin with a double layer of aluminium foil is a real bitch and water always leaks into it no matter how careful I am. Perhaps the problem with a flourless chocolate cake is the fact that it’s flourless..? Or perhaps it’s just my lack of enthusiasm for chocolate..
I haven’t had much luck with bread making lately. The problem is definitely my oven- the dough was soft and supple and rose beautifully but the tops getting burnt when they’re baked! Really annoying because the oven needs to be quite hot to properly bake it, but the tops get much too black. I’ve placed a piece of foil over the top but my oven doesn’t really deal well with this- it never gets baked properly.. I’m guessing the heat doesn’t really reach the bread/cake that’s covered with foil properly. It’s been burning quite a few of my cakes and bread lately, probably the temperature setting thingy’s malfunctioning or something. But on the other hand.. for an oven its size and capacity, it’s also produced a crazy number of good cakes, muffins, cupcakes, bread, cookies, pastries. So I still love it, oh yes mama still loves you little microwave oven *crazy eyes*
I made this croquembouche several weeks ago. It’s made with a pâte brisée base, 23 choux puffs and filled with vanilla bean crème pâtissière. It’s assembled with caramel, then decorated with crystallised rose petals I made the night before, nibbed sugar and spun sugar. It came up to only about 9-10″ tall, so it was a really cute and teensy croquembouche.
It’s not too difficult to make, but it’s pretty nerve-wrecking! It needs to be assembled not too long before eating as the caramel that glues the whole thing together and the spun sugar melts relatively quickly. So don’t mess up- you won’t have time to redo the whole thing! No pressure, though.. ha.