Thursday, September 19, 2013

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival






I made four types of mooncake for this year's Mid-Autumn Festival:  Traditional single yolk lotus, mixed-nuts mooncake, spiral mooncake with yam and pumpkin filling, Shanghai mooncake with single yolk lotus.



Nuts/Seeds:  Walnuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, melon seeds, almond flakes
Sweet/Savory ingredients: Medjool dates, dried cranberries, dried preserved mandarin (吉饼), barbeque pork


It is my first attempt with mixed nuts mooncake.  Compared with other mooncakes, Mixed nuts mooncake is the healthiest of all.  Each mooncake is loaded with nuts and dried fruits.  It is almost like eating a muesli bar! 






I adapted this mixed nuts mooncake recipe from Aunty Yochana. I did not measure to the dot for the amount of nuts/seeds/fruits used.  But roughly, I kept to around 80g to 100g for each nuts/seeds/dried fruits(or combined ingredients; for instance, I used about 50g of cranberries plus 50g Medjool dates (since both ingredients are quite sweet).  I have also pre-toasted the nuts and seeds first.  Basically, what you need to do is to mix all the ingredients and seasoning together to form balls of filling for the mooncake.  Then, you will wrap the filling with the mooncake pastry skin.  The pastry skin and method is the same for making traditional lotus paste mooncake.






Another new attempt is the Teochew's spiral yam paste mooncake.  I am not completely satisfied with my spiral mooncakes, so I will not be sharing the recipe for this.  The problem I had is: they tasted great when they were freshly baked or deep fried.  The crispy skin combines beautifully with the soft and melt in the mouth yam paste filling.  But, the goodness have a "too-short" expiry date .... after a few hours, the fried ones would lose the crispiness and tasted oily instead.  The baked ones remain good for only 1 to 2 days.   I suspect I did not cook the yam paste long enough.  Shall try again next round.  Any tips from experts?



Yam paste, pumpkin paste and spiral pastry dough


My homemade mooncakes to share with my family and friends.





Wishing all a Happy Mid-Autumn Festival.  


Friday, September 6, 2013

Cookie Lollipops for Teachers' Day


Love the colourful sprinkles!



For many years, Teachers' Day falls yearly on 1 September and the occasion is usually celebrated in schools a day ahead.  In the recent years however, Teachers' Day has been changed to the first Friday of September (which fits in nicely with the one week September school holiday).  To show our appreciation, I baked some cookies lollies for my little girl's teachers. 



Cookie lollies for the teachers


My initial plan is simple:  bake some cookies, stick on the edible image, wrap and done.  That will not take me more than half a day to do it.... I thought ^_^  My little girl suggested to use some hundreds and thousands sprinkles to decorate the cookies.  Little children loves these colourful sprinkles.  Why not .... so I piped a white icing border and sprinkle them over the wet icing to set.



The back of the cookies were decorated with a simple laced pattern



After completing the icing border, I still have a bagful of icing... such a waste to throw it away.  And so, I started to decorate the back of the cookies with simple white stripes.  It gives a lovely lacy feel to the cookies.  From the side view, it looks as if the cookie is sandwiched between two layers of icing.  Nice!



This bouquet of cookies is for the preschool teachers.


I had some soft wrapping paper at home, so I arranged a few lollies together to form a cookie bouquet.  I hope her teachers will like the cookie lollipops and bouquet that I made for them.


Cookie dough:

70g salted butter, soften at room temperature
50g icing sugar
1/2 beaten egg
130g plain flour + 1/4 tsp baking powder (sifted)
10g milk powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp orange zests or lemon zests

Method:

1) Cream butter and icing sugar till light and creamy.  Add in beaten egg, vanilla extract and zests, beat well.  Mix in the plain flour, baking powder, milk powder to form a dough.

2) Wrap dough with clingwrap and chill in the fridge for at least an hour.

3) Roll the dough between two pieces of baking paper and cut cookies to desired shapes.  As this dough is rather sticky, do dust your work surface, rolling pin and cookie cutter with some flour.  If the dough gets too soft to handle, just pop them back to the freezer for a few minutes to harden.

4) Bake the cookies in a preheated oven of 180C for about 20 minutes.  Cool completely before decoration.






Happy Teachers' Day to all our wonderful Teachers!


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Lemon Mascarpone Tart (baked)







If you are a fan of citrus lemony desserts, you will fall in love with this tart.  Crispy biscuit crust with a soft, creamy and tangy filling.  Simply irresistible!


Recipe
(8" tart pan, loose bottomed)

Crust 
170g plain flour
30 icing sugar
90g salted butter (add a pinch of salt if using unsalted butter)
1 egg yolk + 2 to 3 tbsp water

Filling
150g mascarpone cheese
100g fine sugar
2 medium-sized eggs + 2 egg yolks
Juice and zest from 2 lemons (about 1/2 cup)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp corn flour


Method
1) Crust: Combine plain flour, icing sugar together.  Using your finger tips, rub in the butter till it resembles fine breadcrumbs.  Add in the egg yolk mixture to form a dough.  Wrap the dough with clear plastic cling wrap and keep in the fridge for about 30 to 45 minutes to firm up.

2) Place the dough on a sheet of baking paper and cover the top with a piece of cling wrap.  Roll out the dough to a thin disc (big enough to cover the tart pan) and carefully transfer the disc to the tart pan (The way I do is to slide a thin cookie sheet or metal sheet below the dough disc.  Place the the tart pan (inverted) on the dough directly. Then flip it around. Fast and easy!).

3) Blind bake the dough in a preheated oven of 190C for about 10 minutes.  Remove baking paper, weights etc and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, till the crust turns light golden brown.  Remove the crust and adjust the oven temperature to 150C.

4) Fillings:  While the crust is baking in the oven, beat the mascarpone cheese and sugar together till creamy.  Add in the eggs, lemon juice & zest, vanilla extract.  Beat to combine and add in the corn flour.  The fillings looks a little watery, but it will set after baking.

5) Pour the filling into the baked crust and carefully transfer the tart back to the oven.  Continue to bake for about 40 minutes till the filling set.

6) Remove from oven and cool completely before removing the tart from the tart pan.  Dust with icing sugar.















Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...