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Raspberry Curd Tartlets

13 May

May 13th, 2015

I made a very similar flavor tart a few posts back using a raspberry-lemon curd; however, this time I used only raspberries. The tartlet crust is also the same shortbread crust recipe, except I made these bite-sized — 2 inches in diameter. I found the tartlet molds at a local baking supply store and I couldn’t resist. My collection of baking supplies is forever growing, but that just means more reasons to bake!

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Shortbread Crust (AKA Pate Sablee), recipe from The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Pastry Arts book

90 g sugar
pinch of salt
2 egg yolks
255 g cake flour

Y= twenty-four 2-inch mini tart shells

Directions:

  1. In a mixer bowl, cream the butter, sugar and salt together, until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the egg yolks. Mix until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of bowl as needed.
  3. Add the flour at once. Mix until dough comes together.
  4. If dough is dry and crumbly, add 1-3 tsp of cold water. Add 1 tsp at a time.
  5. Wrap and rest dough in the refrigerator for an hour or overnight.
  6. Once the dough has rested in the refrigerator, roll out the dough and press into the tartlet  molds.
  7. If dough feels a bit soft, refrigerate the lined molds for about 10 minutes before baking.
  8. Using a fork, slightly dock the dough.
  9. Bake at 340F for 14-16 minutes, or until lightly browned. Allow to cool before unmolding and filling.

Raspberry Curd

⅔ C raspberry juice (See my previous post for instructions on how to prepare raspberry juice)
4 oz sugar
4 egg yolks
3 oz softened butter

Y = enough to fill 15 mini tartlets (recipe can be doubled to have enough to fill all twenty-four tartlet shells)

Directions

  1. In a bowl whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. Set aside.
  2. In a saucepan heat the raspberry juice to a boil. Remove from heat.
  3. Temper the yolk-sugar mixture by adding half of the heated raspberry juice to the yolks, while whisking to prevent the yolks from curdling.
  4. Add the tempered yolks back to the saucepan and heat on medium.
  5. Continue to heat until the mixture thickens, while whisking to prevent the bottom from burning.
  6. Once the mixture thickens, strain into a clean bowl over the butter.
  7. Whisk to combine.
  8. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd. Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight to cool.

Meringue
60 g egg whites
½ C sugar

Directions

  1. Whisk together sugar and egg whites in a mixer bowl.
  2. Place bowl over a pot of simmering hot water.
  3. Using a hand whisk, constantly whisk the sugar-egg mixture until sugar is completely dissolved. The mixture should be warm to touch, but not burning hot on the finger.
  4. Transfer the mixer bowl to the mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whisk on medium speed until mixture is cooled.
  5. Continue to whisk until the mixture becomes meringue-like.

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To Assemble

  1. Pipe or spoon the raspberry curd filling into the tartlet shells.
  2. Pipe a dollop of meringue in the center of the curd.
  3. Carefully torch the meringue.
  4. Refrigerate tartlets until ready to serve.
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Raspberry-Lemon Tarts with a Shortbread Crust

19 Apr

April 19th, 2015

One of my favorite online home cooking websites I follow is called The Kitchn, and when I came across their raspberry lemon curd recipe, I knew I had to try it. Although I have been using a lot of berries lately, I couldn’t pass up this recipe, as it was appropriate for the Springtime weather. Plus, I absolutely love the color of the curd from the raspberry and lemon combination.

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Shortbread Crust (AKA Pate Sablee), recipe from The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Pastry Arts book
90g sugar
pinch of salt
2 egg yolks
255g cake flour (I used AP flour)

Y= lines eight 4-in tart molds

Directions:

  1. In a mixer bowl, cream the butter, sugar and salt together, until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the egg yolks. Mix until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of bowl as needed.
  3. Add the flour at once. Mix until dough comes together.
  4. If dough is dry and crumbly, add 1-3 tsp of cold water. Add 1 tsp at a time.
  5. Wrap and rest dough in the refrigerator for an hour or overnight.
  6. Once the dough has rested in the refrigerator, roll out the dough and press into the tart molds.
  7. If dough feels a bit soft, refrigerate the lined tart molds for about 10 minutes before baking.
  8. Using a fork, slightly dock the dough.
  9. Bake at 350F for 17-20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Allow to cool before unmolding and filling.

Raspberry-Lemon Curd, recipe adapted from The Kitchn
1 ¼ C fresh raspberries, or 1 bag of frozen raspberries
¼ C fresh lemon juice
4 egg yolks
1 egg
1 C sugar (I reduced to ¾ C)
6 T cubed, unsalted butter

Y= enough to fill eight 4-in tarts

Directions:

  1. Heat the raspberries in a sauce pan. Allow to come to a boil and reduce to low heat. Stir occasionally to break raspberries apart. Continue to heat until raspberries become juicy, about 10 minutes.
  2. Strain the raspberry juice into a clean bowl. Discard raspberry pulp.
  3. Return ¼ C + 2 T of the raspberry juice with the lemon juice, eggs, and sugar to the saucepan. Stir to combine.
  4. Cook the mixture until it thickens, stirring to prevent the bottom from burning.
  5. Once the mixture thickens, strain into a clean bowl over the cubed butter.
  6. Slightly whisk together to melt the butter.
  7. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd. Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight to cool.

To Assemble:

  1. Whip ¼ C of heavy cream until medium peaks.
  2. Fold the whipped cream into the raspberry-lemon curd to lighten.
  3. Using a spoon, fill the baked tart crust with the lightened curd.
  4. Alternatively, you can omit the whipped cream.
  5. Garnish and refrigerate until ready to serve.

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I folded in whipped cream to the curd, which lightened the consistency and color of the curd…still so pretty!

Lemon Cheesecake Tartlets

26 Oct

October 26, 2014

Recently I became obsessed with mini tartlets; they are convenient, perfectly portioned, and I love photographing them. Like my dark chocolate tartlets I previously made, I used the same batch of tart shell recipe. I had half the dough leftover, which I froze. This time, however, instead of using tartlet molds, I experimented with a wooden tart tamper I found at Sur La Table. The tart tamper was really easy to use and it fit perfectly in my mini cupcake pan to form the round tart shells.

I used a basic cheesecake recipe and added lemon zest. Depending on your preference of tartness you can adjust the amount of zest. I love the taste and fragrance of lemon zest so I opted to add more. These tartlets kept well in the refrigerator for several days, which was convenient because I readily had dessert waiting for me after dinner.

Tart Shells
2 sticks (8oz) of butter
360 g AP Flour
125 g Sugar
1 Egg
½ tsp vanilla
Pinch of Salt

Y= half the dough yields 24 mini tartlets.
The other half can be frozen if not used immediately.

Directions:

  1. Cream the butter, sugar, vanilla and salt together.
  2. Add the egg.
  3. Add the flour. Slightly mix.
  4. Finish mixing by hand on a floured surface.
  5. Divide dough in half, flatten. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  6. Slightly spray mini cupcake pan with non-stick spray.
  7. Remove the dough from the refrigerator; working in small pieces, roll a piece of dough into a ball. (I eyeballed the size of the pieces).
  8. Place ball of dough into the pan. Repeat until you fill the entire cupcake pan.
  9. Have a bowl of extra flour set aside. Dip the tart tamper in the flour and proceed to flatten each ball of dough. As you push down with the tart tamper, the dough will take the shape of the cupcake pan. Re-dip the tamper in the flour as needed to prevent dough from sticking.
  10. Using a fork, gently poke several holes in the lined dough.
  11. Refrigerate the lined molds for 10-15 minutes.
  12. Bake at 350F for 12 minutes. Remove and slightly chill before filling.

2014-10-04 21.12.01Press the tart tamper down on the dough and it will take the form of the pan. 2014-10-04 21.21.302014-10-04 21.24.28

Dock the lined dough by using a fork to make tiny holes.

Lemon Cheesecake Filling
8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1.5 oz Sugar
1 Egg
6g of egg yolk
1 ½ tsp Sour Cream
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Zest of one whole lemon

Directions

  1. Using the paddle attachment of a mixer, cream the cream cheese and sugar together. Stop and scrape down the sides. Continue to paddle until smooth.
  2. Add the egg and egg yolk. Continue to mix.
  3. Add the sour cream and vanilla. Mix to combine.
  4. Add lemon zest. Mix to combine.
  5. Fill a pastry bag with the cream cheese filling and carefully pipe into tart shells.
  6. Bake at 275F for 20 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and allow tartlets to chill at room temperature.
  8. Refrigerate overnight.
  9. Garnish with whipped cream and more lemon zest.

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Dark Chocolate Tartlets

12 Oct

October 12th, 2014

I’m like a kid in a candy store whenever I’m at Sur La Table, one of my favorite places to shop for kitchen ware. I can spend hours there browsing, making every excuse as to why I need a another gadget, an extra pan, or more piping tips. And I love it when I find a good deal. That’s exactly what happened when I found these tartlet molds. I couldn’t resist and basically picked up all the molds that were on clearance.

Using a simple dough recipe I made several mini tart shells, filled with a simple dark chocolate ganache. It definitely would have been easier to just make one large tart; however, these individual, bite-sized tartlets are much more adorable. It took some patience to line each mold with the dough, but the results were worth it!

Tart Shells
2 sticks (8oz) of butter
360 g AP Flour
125 g Sugar
1 Egg
½ tsp vanilla
Pinch of Salt

Y= half the dough yields 18- 2 inch  shells

Directions:

  1. Cream the butter, sugar, vanilla and salt together.
  2. Add the egg.
  3. Add the flour. Slightly mix.
  4. Finish mixing by hand on a floured surface.
  5. Divide dough in half, flatten. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  6. Slightly spray molds with a non-stick spray.
  7. Remove the dough from the refrigerator; using a rolling-pin, roll dough out.  Since the dough will puff up a bit once in the oven, roll out thinly.
  8. Working in small pieces, line the molds, leaving a few unmolded.
  9. Using a fork, gently poke several holes in the lined dough. Refrigerate the lined molds for 10 minutes.
  10. Remove from the refrigerator; using the other half of un-lined molds stack on top of each lined mold. This prevents the dough from puffing up too much when baking.
  11. Bake at 350F for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove the unlined molds. Place lined molds back in the oven and bake for another 6-7 minutes, or until lightly browned. Once cool enough to handle, removed baked shells from the mold.
  12. Repeat with remainder of the dough.
  13. Allow tart shells to cool completely before filling.
  14. If not using the other half of the dough, freeze for later use. Dough can be kept in the freezer for 1 month.

2014-08-16 01.57.46Individually lined molds2014-08-17 06.18.17Baked shells- ready to be filled2014-08-17 07.18.59

Chocolate Ganache Filling
200 g Dark Chocolate (I used 72%)
200 g Heavy Cream

Directions:

  1. Finely chop chocolate and place in a heatproof bowl.
  2. Heat the heavy cream on medium heat. Once the cream comes to a simmer, remove from heat.
  3. Slowly pour the heated cream over the chopped chocolate and leave for 30 seconds.
  4. Whisk to combine the cream and chocolate.
  5. Carefully pour the ganache into each tart shell. Allow to set a room temperature for about 30 minutes to an hour. 2014-09-22 05.32.42 2014-09-22 05.27.36 2014-09-22 05.24.02                           Garnished with chocolate shavings and fleur de sel.

Classic Apple Pie

6 Jul

July 6th, 2014

Happy 4th of July Weekend! I had a nice, long, much-needed 4-day weekend of hanging out and doing random things around town. We spent a lot of time with our puppy, who turned 8-months today! To celebrate the actual holiday though, we hung out with a couple of friends over barbecue, drinks and of course, dessert. The gathering was a potluck, so I decided to make a pie to bring. The original plan was a peach pie since stone fruits are in season right now. Unfortunately, after a small mishap, plans changed; just as I was pulling the peach pie out of the oven, my sticky fingers dropped the pie dish and the entire thing flipped upside down onto the oven door! This was a first for me and it was quite devastating. Sadly enough, the pie was not salvageable.

So the back up plan was a classic apple pie. I could have scrambled and rushed to the market for more peaches, but I had plenty of apples already in the refrigerator, so I opted to make an apple pie instead. I love making this pie because it’s simple and you can’t go wrong with it. I mean, who doesn’t love an apple pie, right? This was served within two hours after it came out of the oven, and it was still warm. However, if you need to make it ahead of time, you can bake it, let it cool to room temperature, and slightly cover and leave it until the next day to serve.

The best part of apple pies, or any other pies, is having a slice with some vanilla ice cream!

2014-07-04 04.37.03Pie Dough:
12oz flour
2 sticks cold, cubed butter
7T cold water
1T cider vinegar
Y= enough to cover the bottom & top of a 9-inch pie pan

Directions:
1. In a food processor with the dough attachment, combine flour, salt and butter. Pulse until mixture becomes crumbly.
2. Add the water and vinegar mixture in thirds, pulsing in between.
3. Finish mixing the dough by hand on a floured surface. Divide dough in two pieces. Wrap, refrigerate and allow dough to rest for at least 30 minutes, or overnight.
4. At this point, you can also freeze the dough.
5. Roll out one half of the dough on a floured surface. Transfer the rolled out dough to the pie pan by carefully rolling it onto your rolling pin and laying it in the pie pan. Press the dough into the pan. Refrigerate pie pan to set the dough.

Apple Pie Filling:
10 apples (Gala); washed, dried, peeled, sliced
Juice of ½ a lemon
1C white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
optional: ½ tsp vanilla powder
3T cornstarch

Directions:
1. Toss sliced apples, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla together.
2. Add cornstarch. Mix to coat evenly.
3. Pour mixture into pie pan.
4. Carefully roll out the second half of the dough. Place on top of apples and seal edges.
5. Make a few slits in the center of the pie.
6. Egg wash the top of the pie and sprinkle with sugar.
7. Bake at 400F for 40 minutes, then rotate and bake for another 20-25 minutes. Halfway through baking, I place a piece of foil over the top since I didn’t want the tops to get too dark.

2014-07-04 04.33.52 2014-07-04 04.42.57 2014-07-04 21.54.132014-07-04 22.02.26  Paired with leftover homemade vanilla ice cream!

Kouign Amann

24 Jun

June 24, 2014

The very first time I tried a Kouign Amann was from B. Patisserie’s bakery, located in San Francisco, CA. Before she opened up her shop, I was following her on Facebook and immediately fell in love with her art in the kitchen. Her desserts are well crafted and very detailed- desserts almost too pretty to eat. When her shop finally opened up in 2012, we stopped by to try her well-known, ever so popular Kouign Amanns, and since then I was inspired make them at home. I did some research on the recipe and came across a couple of them, but only recently did I come across a very detailed and easy to follow recipe on The Kitchn blog. So I decided to tackle this.

Making Kouign Amanns require patience and it is very important to follow the instructions carefully. I made this over a period of two days, had my iPad open so that I can reference the blog, and had a printout of the recipe where I jotted down notes. Never once during the process did I feel discouraged. In fact, I was eager to see the results!

If you have the time and patience, I say make these! They taste the best once out of the oven, where the caramelized sugar have infused the buttery layers and the sugar is still gooey. If you’re looking for a sweet option for breakfast, these are perfect with your morning cup of coffee, or a midday snack with some tea. These keep well at room temperature in an air-tight container, but if you don’t get to all of them in time, freeze them. Just reheat for a few seconds, eat it as is, or add a bit of jam.

Recipe and steps can be found here.

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Bourbon-Glazed Cinnamon Rolls

20 May

May 20th, 2014

When I think of cinnamon rolls, I immediately think of Cinnabon, the popular food franchise that you most often see in mall food-courts. Though I typically don’t eat at mall food-courts, I definitely love the smell of Cinnabon cinnamon buns! Honestly, I don’t think I have ever purchased one for myself to eat. Don’t get me wrong, I love them, but the thought of how guilty I would feel after indulging one is enough to prevent me from actually ordering it. But, every once in awhile, an indulgent is good, right? So this past weekend I wanted to indulge and decided to make some cinnamon rolls.

I wanted to start with the basics- plain o’ cinnamon rolls- no nuts or raisins added. I knew I didn’t want cream cheese glaze because cream cheese can be overpowering. So I decided on a sugar glaze, flavored with a bit of Bourbon, borrowed from my husband’s Whiskey collection.

The best part about baking these at home is the aroma that fills the place as they finish in the oven. Even better, you don’t have to wait until they are fully cooled to eat them…they taste the best when they’re piping hot!

Cinnamons Rolls (adopted from the Williams-Sonoma Blog)
¾C warm milk, heat for ~20 seconds in the microwave
2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
¼C sugar
4 eggs
4 ½ C AP Flour
1 ½ tsp salt
6 T butter, cubed, room temperature

Y= 16 pieces

Filling
4 T softened butter
2/3C brown sugar
1 T cinnamon
1 egg
1 tsp water

Directions
1. In a mixer bowl, gently mix together the milk and yeast. Let this mixture sit for about 10 minutes.
2. Add sugar, eggs, flour, salt. Using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until the dough comes together.
3. Once all the ingredients come together, add the butter chunks. Continue to mix until no butter chunks are visible and no dry ingredients are left in the bowl, about 5 to 8 minutes. If the dough feels too sticky, sprinkle in some flour.
4. Place dough into a slightly greased bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature for at least 2 hours. (I left mine to rise for about 5 hours).
5. For the filling: in a clean bowl, mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
6. After two hours and the dough has doubled in size, cut the dough in half. Set one half aside.
7. With the other half, roll out into a rectangle until it is fairly thin.
8. Spread half of the softened butter on the dough. Sprinkle half of the brown sugar-cinnamon mixture so that it covers the butter.
9. Starting on the long end, roll the dough into a log. Carefully cut into 1 ½-inch pieces. (I found it easier to use a sawing motion when cutting the log.)
10. Repeat with the other half of the dough.
11. Place pieces in a greased pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise for 40 minutes.
12. Using a fork, whisk egg and water together. Brush cinnamon rolls with egg wash right before baking.
13. Bake at 375F for about 23-25 minutes.
14. These can be immediately glazed once out of the oven.

Bourbon Glaze
2 ½ C powdered sugar, sifted
4-5 T milk
2 tsp Bourbon (Bulleit Bourbon)

Directions
1. In a mixer, whisk together powdered sugar and milk, adding the milk 1T at a time.
2. Add Bourbon. Add more milk or Bourbon to adjust the consistency as needed.

 

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