I live in Singapore. It is known for its temperamental weather and humid climate, thus making it pretty horrible for making tart shells. I do not have an air-conditioned kitchen which is very difficult for me to keep the butter cold and solid. I often have to work very quickly between removing the cubed butter from the freezer to crumbling it with the flour. In between crumbling, I frequently notice that the butter would start to soften really fast and creating a dough without the use of water. This resulted in a very crumbly crust, the type that falls apart when you handle them roughly!
My personal preference for a tart shell gravity towards a crumbly yet firm shell. Thus I find it very difficult to achieve that. I previously worked with a recipe which called for water and egg yolks after crumbling the butter with the flour. By the time I included all the butter, the dough came together. It was getting a little sticky so I stopped crumbling and into the fridge it went. I was a little skeptical with the structure of the dough as there was no addition of any liquid.
When I took the dough out of the fridge after an hour, it held up okay. The mess began when I started rolling them out, IT DID NOT STAYED TOGETHER. It was crumbly, and when it was exposed to the humidity it began to stick to the tabletop and the rolling pin. It needed a lot of dusting flour. I pushed through with the dough as I had limited time to produce tarts.
Getting the dough onto the pans were a hassle and it took way more effort. I dusted and dusted the dough for the entire time I was lining it on the pan. I was making silent prayers that the shells would bake fine and taste good. After many tedious attempts to line the dough, I popped it into the oven, baking them with baking beads as I was going to make lemon meringue tarts.
The tarts baked perfectly and the cooling process went smoothly till… The moment I removed the shells from the pan. (Mind you I heavily greased my pans with oil.) A handful were destroyed as I had difficulty removing them. I lost a few of them and it was not a good feeling as I am only left with a few extras, in the case of destruction.
This is the point I could not figure out whether it is due to the lack of liquid or too much dusting flour. I blamed it on the humid weather however I could not change that, thus I guess in the future I would just have to use another recipe.
Overall, the tarts came out fine. Consumers were happy with it, I was happy with the taste of it, not so much on the creation of it. I am still here trying to figure it out…
Hope you like my recount of this everlong reflection on the arts of making tart shells. If you have trouble or a solution for this issue, please share it with me. I would love to explore the alternative of it.
It was a grand pleasure to write again after a long time. I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I writing it.
If you google Freak Milkshake, jugs of overflowing chocolate and colourful toppings are what you would get. I am not sure who started this trend, but those cups of fairytale-like milkshakes intrigued me.
It is definitely very simple to make a cup of milkshake with monster toppings overflowing the cup of goodness, however at the back of my head, I asked ‘Do I really want to fill myself with an excessive amount of sugar?” NO! OF COURSE NOT! So therefore I came up with a smoothie version. It might not necessarily be healthy but it definitely uses less sugar than a milkshake. Thus without further ado, let us get started!
When I brained-stormed for this smoothie, I wanted to add healthy elements to it, as well as the fun factor to it. After all the research, I decided to go for donuts and chia pudding as the toppings. Now you might think that donuts are guilty little round devils which are full of saturated fats, well you are correct. Hence I baked mine. The donuts that I used for this recipe are baked.
The donuts had half the mouthfeel of a fried donut and half of a cake. It is delicious and a very versatile bake that could satisfy your creativity in almost anything. I have been thinking of various kind of stuff I could do to a baked donuts. So stay tune for them.
I coated the chocolate donut with chocolate glaze and the vanilla donut with chunky strawberry glaze.
For the chia pudding, I did mine chocolate flavoured. The pudding was there to fill the cup plus add texture and colour to it. It kind of act as the chocolate sauce.
As for the base, any flavour of smoothie you desire. I went for passionfruit and banana blend. They gave a tropical essence to the smoothie and that was what I was looking for as I wanted this mug to be zesty and flavourful. And also, chose a mug that would allow the donuts to sit nicely on the brim of the mug. You do not want doughnut soaked in your smoothie.
Lastly, assemble! Feel free to make a mess as that is what makes it fun! Pour the chia pudding above the the smoothie till you reach the brim of the cup. Then, carefully place the doughnuts on the brim of the cup. I placed the chocolate donut above the vanilla. And you have your smoothie!
The health factors for this cup of smoothie are a blend of fruits, which provides you your fiber. The doughnuts are baked and not fried, and that greatly reduces the amount of saturated and trans fats in that piece. The strawberry glaze of the doughnuts are made with plain frozen strawberries with no sugar added. The chocolate however, needed a little sugar to balance its bitterness. And the chia pudding provides loads of nutrients without much calories.
What I really love about this concept is that the smoothie complements the donuts. And the drink as a whole was not very heavy as I used natural sweetness provided from the fruits, hence you not would feel like you consumed a massive amount of sugar, while still getting your sugary fix!
Freak Health Smoothie
Smoothie ( a smoothie of your choice) –
About 3 to 4 passion fruit (with seeds or without)
2 frozen bananas
1/2 cup of greek yogurt
3/4 cup of milk (I used almond milk)
2.5 oz all purpose flour (1/2 cup)
6 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup grapeseed oil (can also use canola)
1/4 cup milk (I use Skim)
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vinegar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
about 2-3 tablespoon of cocoa powder
Handful of frozen strawberries
2 teaspoon of cornstarch
4 tablespoon of water (You could add more water for a thinner consistency)
6 tablespoon of cocoa powder
3 and 1/2 tablespoon of milk
3 teaspoon of powdered sugar
2 tablespoon of chia seeds
1/2 cup of almond milk (or any milk of your choice)
1 tablespoon of cocoa powder
Start with Chia pudding as it needs to infuse and puff up the flavours!
In a jar/bowl/mug, mix cocoa powder and milk together, till well combined
Add in chia seeds and let it soak all the goodness in the refrigerator as you start on your doughnuts!
Doughnuts! As this is a baked doughnut, a doughnut pan is required
Grease doughnut pan with butter or oil. Grease it well as it would make removing the doughnuts a lot easier!
In a medium bowl, whisk to combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In another bowl, whisk to combine the grapeseed oil, milk, egg, vinegar, and vanilla extract. Add this liquid to the dry ingredients and whisk until the two are *just* combined. It’s okay if the batter is lumpy, as you don’t want to overstir and make the donuts tough.
Transfer half of the batter into another bowl and add the cocoa powder and mix well.
Evenly divide the batter into the six donut wells, which is about 2.5 tbsp per well. Bake for 13 minutes until a toothpick inserted into one of the doughnuts comes out cleanly (or rather, without any wetness).
Let the donuts cool while you prepare the glaze.
To prepare the glaze, add cornstarch, frozen strawberries and water into a small saucepan and let it reduce to a thick consistency, on low fire, stirring constantly. Once thicken, transfer to a bowl with a big surface area and let it cool.
For the chocolate glaze, mix cocoa powder, milk and sugar in a bowl till well combined.
Blend all ingredients together.
Lastly, ASSEMBLE! Carefully pour the chia pudding onto the smoothie to create a colour contrast. Allow the chocolate glaze to drip onto the vanilla doughnut to make a delicious mess.
It was such a great fun to create this recipe and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I have! So now you have a perfectly good excuse to reject a freak milkshake. Instead, get a healthier one! Till the next time, See you!
Hi all! For today, I have saved the best for the last for Food Of Taiwan. They are the sweet treats! Taiwan is known for their smooth shaved ice with delicious chewy taro/yam balls. They have plenty more desserts which I am going to share with you! So sit back and enjoy!
Let us start with the famous shaved ice. Ice are shaved into a consistency like snow, therefore the smoothness. They are accompanied with a flavour of your choice. I went for mango! They would drizzle a thick layer of mango syrup with sweet mango cubes topped with a scoop of ice-cream. Also, they are inexpensive and great for sharing.
Next we have another icy dessert. It is rather well-known in Singapore as well, as stores from Taiwan brought it into Singapore. They are crushed ice with assorted topping. There are a mixture of sweet and savoury flavour as well as different textures from crunchy to chewy.
Between the 2 icy desserts, I would go for the shaved snow ice as it was sweeter. But I do like the crushed ice due to their variety of flavours but shaved snow ice wins!
Next we have my all time favourite dessert and it is beancurd! They are silky smooth, healthy and you could have them for either breakfast or dessert! Beancurd are made from soya bean, great for vegans, and the dish is like scoops of beancurd with a thin sugar syrup. I had mine with taro balls and red bean paste.
For the next 2 desserts, they are not significantly Taiwanese but I shall review them to you!
Here we have a Japanese dessert. It is ice-cream in taiyaki. Taiyaki are made from batter, shaped into a fish stuffed with red bean paste. I personally dislike this as it was pricy and not fantastic as the ice-cream was not smooth and it made a great mess while eating it, however I would give it a shot when in Japan. I shall stick with a Taiwanese dessert while in Taiwan!
Lastly we have classic desserts! Apple pie and Brownie! They were good and I have nothing to complain about!
Taiwan have been a real treat for a foodie like me. It has treated me like a guest very warmly with the variety of food. It was an absolutely delicious stay! Thank you Taiwan!!
I have one last post for my trip to Taiwan and it would be uploaded next week, so stay tune for that! For now, Thank you for reading and till next time, See You!
Hey! I am back with the last recipe of the Easter Special! Today we are talking Passionfruit Meringue Tart. The idea came about when my mother bought a basket full of passionfruit home, so I thought what better way to use those fruits than making a tart!
There are 3 components for this tart, the meringue, the curd and the shell. I made the shell of the tart with digestive biscuits as I had lots of them on hand. However one major mistake with my shell was not adding enough butter to stabilize the shell. So when I plated the tart, the shell crumbled easily.
While the shell were setting in the fridge I made my curd!
It was a simple curd to make, not overly sweet, which was a bonus point. I guess the sweetness covers a little tartness from the passionfruit, therefore making the curd acceptably sweet. It was a quick and fast process as you have to keep stirring the curd as it comes along in case it burns at the bottom. Everything happened too quickly for me to snap a shot. My apologizes all.
Last but not least was the meringue. The meringue was a standard procedure, you add the sugar into egg whites and wait for the mixer to produce fluffy and clear meringue! Then you either scoop the meringue onto the tart or pipe them. For me, i prefer the old-fashioned scooping. You then blow torch it into caramelised goodness!
This passionfruit tart was lovely and sweet and to be very honest with you, I ate this dessert I made more times than the rest of the other desserts I made before. The whole process took me about 4 to 5 hours as you need to let the curd to set. It was quick and speedy, great for a last minute dessert.
Passionfruit Meringue Tart (Makes 4)
7 – 9 digestive biscuits, crushed into bread crumbs-like
A stick and half butter (169.5g), melted
3 large eggs (free range or organic only) (Or use whatever chicken eggs you have on hand)
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of passion fruit pulp (strained or whole)
4 large egg whites, room temperature
¾ cup (5.25 ounces) granulated sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Add melted butter into crushed biscuits and mix them evenly.
Pour biscuits into tart mould and press them along the sides of the mould and the bottoms.
Heat the juice, butter and sugar in a heavy based pot until the sugar has dissolved and it reaches boiling point.
Remove from the heat and allow it to cool slightly (about 3 minutes).
Beat the eggs until fluffy in a bowl and then very quickly, whisking all the time add them to the hot juice. You do not want the eggs to curdle.
*If you want seedless tart, this is the time to strain your mixture. Strain the mixture before you place it back onto the heat.*
Place this all back on the heat and whisk constantly until the mixture becomes thick.
Add the curd quickly onto the moulds with the shells, then let the curd set in the shell in the fridge for about 3 hours.
Beat egg whites until frothy. Beat in sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time; until sugar is incorporated and mixture forms soft peaks. Add vanilla and salt; continue to beat meringue to stiff peaks.
Pipe the meringue over the curd. Use a kitchen torch to brown the meringue.
I was rather contented with the results of this tart other than the crumbly shell. It was a good dessert, good for the young and old! I hope you have enjoyed all 3 recipes for the Easter Special. This recipe have came later than Easter, but better late than never ya? Haha!
Thank you for reading and till next time, See you!
A few weeks ago, I decided to try a traditional dessert. That dessert is something my parents would bring home after work and share it among the family. It is seen almost everywhere in Singapore, the flavours are very asian as it has pandan, coconut and gula melaka/palm sugar. These ingredients are widely found in almost every Asian dessert, making it sinful and unique.
The dessert I did was Ondeh Ondeh.
They are pandan balls, knead to perfection from glutinous rice flour mixed the greens squeezed from the pandan and coconut milk. I mixed mine with steamed mashed potato to give the skin a chewier texture.
Once cooked, these balls are dunked into desiccated coconut, to be coated in every part of it.
And to rate how amazing the balls are, it is done by how the palm sugar explodes into your mouth when you take your first bite. If it erupts in your mouth, you have gotten yourself a terrific Ondeh Ondeh!
My first attempt for these balls of goodness were not as good as the second as I made my balls a little too small, therefore there was not any eruption of sugar in the mouth.
Tips for making Ondeh Ondeh:
Dust your hands with glutinous rice flour before stuffing the sugar in. As the warmth on your hand might have the dough sticking on your fingertips and then making a mess once the dough are filled.
Use fresh desiccated coconuts. The prepackaged one you purchase in the supermarket might be too dry, altering the texture of the Ondeh Ondeh.
Make sure the palm sugar are diced into really small pieces as you want all the palm sugar to melt while it cooks in boiling water. You do not want bits and piece of sugar for everyone to chew on.
Be gentle with the balls. One rough move and you have a sticky and messy situation.
I used Kokken, Ondeh Ondeh recipe for both attempts. You should check out the food blog. There are a variety of recipes you could try!
There are various process that requires time and care, so be patient.
100g Sweet potato, steamed and mashed
100g Glutinous Rice flour
5 pieces Pandan Leaves
30g Thick coconut milk
100g Gula Melaka, chopped finely
200g Grated Coconut
2 pieces Pandan Leaves, knotted
1/4 teaspoon Salt
Cut Panadan Leaves (1) into small pieces and blend it with the 15ml water. Squeeze to get 30ml of dark green pandan juice.
Boil sweet potato in the jacket in a pot of water until tender. Cool down. Remove potato skin and mash well.
Mix 100g of mashed sweet potato with Pandan juice (1) and coconut milk. (green colouring can be added now if desired)
Add in glutinous rice flour and incorporate until the dough comes together.
Place grated coconut on a plate. Cut Pandan Leaves (2) into 5 cm lengths and embed in grated coconut. Steam over boiling water for 5 mins.
Leave steamed grated coconut to cool completely and mix in 1/4 tsp salt. Set aside.
Portion out (4) into 10g dough. Dust hands with glutinous rice flour and roll each 10g dough into a round ball. Use pinkie finger make a well in the center of the ball.
Carefully fill the well with chopped Gula Melaka. Seal the opening of the dough and roll it into a ball again.
Place the ball in a shallow plate of glutinous rice flour to prevent them from sticking together.
Boil a pot of water. Drop (7) into the boiling water. Cook until Onde Onde floats to the surface of the boiling water.
Remove Onde Onde with a slotted spoon and leave it to cool for 2mins.
Roll (9) in grated coconut (6). Serve and finish on the same day.
It was good fun making those balls but a whole lot of mess as well. You could get your kids to help you coat the balls or shape them. This is loved by my family and myself. After conquering this traditional dessert, I shall be on the search for my next victim! Till next time, Ciao~
Well, the title says it all! I made creme brulee over the holidays last year, however I did not produce a wonderful piece, instead I made an overly sweet and sticky top creme brulee. Hence today, I would like to share with you what led to all these failures.
Creme Brulee is an easy dessert, I made careless mistakes which was unnecessary. Okay, firstly, making the custard. Simple steps of boiling the milk then tempering the eggs. My first mistake was adding too much sugar. I halved the recipe without cutting the amount of sugar in half. I did not realize the mistakes until they are tasted.
On the water-bath, ready for the oven!
After not noticing about my clueless and careless mistake, the custards were poured into ramekins and were put into a water bath and gone into the oven. The baking went well and hence my final part,the caramelization. That part was epic.
So I sprinkled my sugar above the baked custards. Then I turned on my blow torch and blew the creme away; I was left with sticky and uncrystallized sugar tops. I was heartbroken as there were no crackling, though a few made the cut on the crackling…
To note every single ingredient down before baking (That my mother have nagged her whole life about it and now I learned that Mums are always right!)
Practice my ‘blow-torching’ skills before attempting such recipes.
Basically, not to be lazy and stay alert.
Alright guys, that’s all I have for this creme brulee. I am so disappointed with myself for screwing up something that could be delicious and decadent. But it was a good lesson learnt!
Thank you for reading and look out more post tomorrow as it is going to be something special. Till tomorrow, Ciao~
Stay Brightly Positive & Bake on! Xoxo Pei Gee
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Ever heard of a fresh ending…? I bet you have only heard about a fresh start, but I am here to change it all for you, with a dessert! That’s the fresh end I was talking about. Therefore today, I would be sharing a fresh recipe with you.
This recipe is easy and yummy. It would be a treat to all, great for a family of four or a crowd of guest. You could jazz it up and make it fancy for your guest as well. I would be sharing 2 variations of the recipe and maybe then, you could try something new afterwards. I would share a little of my other flavours you could try out at the end of the post!
The first recipe I used frozen strawberries. I blended them up with no liquid, then served with granola at the bottom and more on top.
Healthy Strawberry ice-cream
1 cup of frozen strawberries
Granola or any kind of mix you prefer.
Blend all strawberries in a mixer.
Serve in clear glass (Classier this way) HAHA!
Next recipe, I used frozen kiwi! They maybe a little sour, so add a teaspoon of honey and start whizzing it up!
Kiwi Ice Cream
3-4 frozen kiwi
Any topping of your choice
Blend all kiwi together and serve in a glass and top it off with your topping of choice! Mine was chocolate shavings.
You could add mint to either fruits and it would make the ice-cream even more refreshing. It could be like a mouth-cleanser after a hearty meal! You could add oreos, cereals and sprinkles if your children desires.
I hope you have enjoyed these recipes and I hope you make them soon, trust me, it took me only 15 mins to get them done! Thank you for reading and till next time, Ciao~