Thursday, June 6, 2013

My first fruit tart :)


So I've always loved fruit tarts,whether individual tiny ones that can be almost like a petit-four or a bigger cake-size one. The fact that they come with a topping of fresh fruits rather than heavy icing like so many cakes, is what I think makes them attractive to me.
Anyways, I found the recipe in one of my favorite baking books ( Step-by-Step Baking by Caroline Bretherton) and thought I give it a go. You know I thought of every possible scenario: the tart shell will probably break, the creme patisserie won't taste right,etc etc! But, despite my expectations, it was absolutely perfect! It came out of the tart pan easily without even cracking and the creme patisserie tasted incredible!
I am so pleased with it, I'll try different toppings next time, and maybe in a smaller pan, so everyone has their own mini fruit tart :d
I should give credit to the amazing Stephanie Jaworski of Although, I didn't follow her recipe, I watched her video on fruit tart several times and used all the tips she gave in it.

So, what are your favourite toppings for a fruit tart? ;)



Recipe:(Copyright Caroline Betherton)

Tart shell:
150 g plain flour
100 g unsalted butter,diced
50 g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract ( if your vanilla extract ,like mine, is concentrated, use half of this amount)
6 tablespoons apricot jam ( I used about 3), melted with 1 tablespoon of water

Creme Patisserie:
100 g caster sugar
50 g corn flour
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (Again, use half if concentrated)
400 ml full-fat milk

1- In a bowl, combine the flour and butter and rub them together with your hands until they resemble fine bread crumbs.
2- Then, add the sugar and mix.
3- Add the vanilla to the egg yolk, combine and then add it to the flour mixture.
4- Combine the ingredients until they form a dough. Then wrap in cling film and leave it in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
5- Preheat your oven to 180c.
6- Flatten the dough with your hands a little bit. At this stage I took advice of Stephanie of and just placed the dough in a buttered tart pan ( instead of rolling it), and using my fingers flattened the dough to the shape of the tart pan.
7- Use a fork to prick the pastry base.
8- Line the pastry with a baking paper and place baking beans over the paper.
9- Bake in oven for 20 minutes.
10- Remove the beans and bake again for a further 5 minutes until you can see the edges are light golden.
11- Remove from oven, and while hot, brush the pastry with melted apricot jam. ( I first brushed the pastry with whisked egg white and then with apricot jam. This step just makes sure your pastry doesn't become moist when you add the creme patisserie).
12- Let the pastry shell cool completely at room temperature. Do not remove from pan yet.

13- For the creme patisserie, beat the sugar,vanilla extract, corn flour, and sugar together in a bowl.
14- In a pot, heat the milk and just as it starts to boil, remove it from heat.
15- While whisking the egg mixture constantly and vigorously, add the hot milk to it.
16- Return the mixture to the saucepan and place on medium heat. REMEMBER : Whisk constantly!
17- Once the mixture starts to thicken, reduce the heat and continue to whisk for a few more minutes.
18- Transfer the hot mixture to a bowl, and cover the whole mixture with cling film ( not just the top of the bowl, push the cling film down to actually cover the mixture. This is again another tip from Stephanie of ).
19-Let the creme patisserie cool completely at room temperature.

20- To assemble, beat the creme patisserie if it has hardened a bit, then spread it in the pastry shell. Next, arrange your favourite fruits on top in whatever pattern you like and brush with melted apricot jam. Finally, gently remove from the tart pan.

Enjoy! ;)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Super Easy, Four-Ingredient Ciabatta Bread

I hadn't made bread before, but when I came across this simple recipe from Caroline Bretherton in her book "Step-by-Step Baking", I could not resist not making it! It's so easy and you probably have 3 of the 4 ingredients already in your pantry! As an added bonus, you don't need any mixers with a dough hook! 


450g Strong White Bread Flour
2 tsp Dried Yeast
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Sea Salt


1. Dissolve yeast in 350ml of warm water. Then add the oil.

2. Mix flour and salt.

3. Add the wet ingredients and stir to form a rough sticky dough.

4. Place the dough on a flour-dusted surface and kneed it for 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and well-formed (Add bits of flour if it's too sticky).

5. Place the dough in a bowl and cover it with Glad Wrap and leave it in a warm place for 2 hours.

6. After the two hours, the dough will have risen to approximately twice its size.

9. Return the dough to the floured surface and knock the dough back with your fists.

10. Knead the dough again for a few minutes until it's smooth (Again, add bits of flour if it's too sticky).

11. Divide the dough into two equal parts and shape them like a round-edged rectangle.

12. Place the doughs on a baking sheet and cover with a Glad Wrap loosely. Leave them for 30 minutes.

13.  The doughs will have almost doubled as size again.

14. Cook in the oven at 230C for 30 minutes. Spray with water before putting in the oven and afterwards, every 10 minutes.

15. Place the breads on wire racks to cool before cutting.

16. Enjoy!!!~~~

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Eating out in Melbourne- Koko Black

What's a Chocolate Choux Pastry you ask?
It's this delicious dessert which Koko Black is serving as part of its winter menu right now. I went there last week and ordered it, just cause it looked intriguing! Turns out, there are kind of like a chocolate eclair but until you cut it open, you can't see the delicious cream and raspberry sauce inside.

What I would really want to know is how you poour the cream inside the pastry, 'cause as far as I could see, there weren't any tiny holes at the bottom of the pastry to pipe the cream in, as is the case with profiteroles.
Hmmmm.... I really want to have the recipe for this cutieee...:D...Any ideas?

Easy Veal Stew

I have never cooked with wine before, but of course I really wanted to ignite my pot on fire just cause it looks cool.. lol ! Anyways, I found a recipe for veal saltimbocca and I tweaked it a little bit to make this yummy veal stew. Addition of tomato paste, and a bit of water to the wine for the sauce, means you won't have the pot on fire, but still it makes a really delicious weekend lunch!


  • 1/2 cup of dry white wine (I used South Island's Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 200g mini Roma tomatoes
  • 1/2 bunch of continental parsley
  • 1/2 bunch of sage
  • 200g veal medallions
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste (optional, but I found it's a lot tastier with it)
  • Plain flour for dusting
  • Olive oil

1. Dust the veal medallions and sage leaves with flour, just enough to coat both sides of them.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a non-stick frying pan.

3. Fry the veal medallions in the pan until all sides are golden.

4. Place the medallions in the oven for 10 mins at 180C so that they are cooked through.

5. In the same pan that you used to fry the medallions, add the white wine, cherry tomatoes with crushed garlic.

6. Stir and add the tomato paste.

7. Give the sauce a stir every now and then.
8. Add three tablespoons of water and stir.
9. Cover with lid and simmer for about 6 minutes, stirring often.

10. Stir through the parsley and let simmer for another 2 minutes.

You can serve the veal stew with bread or rice, your choice! and ofcourse, the rest of that bottle of wine. Enjoy!!~~~~

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Pineapple Upside Down Cake with RUM

Today, I finally got a chance to make the pineapple upside down cake. I found the recipe on Epicurious a while ago. The smell of this cake (Cardamom+ Rum) is so intoxicatingly beautiful, you want to eat it right out of the oven! And it's one of those cakes that's delicious served warm with a scoop of icecream!
I'm TRYING to eat healthy, so I skipped the icecream and had it with fresh pineapple slices and cherries.

One thing, the recipe says to make it in a skillet which is much easier than making it in a cake pan that I did. The cake has a very liquid sauce (butter and brown sugar) at the bottom, so if you put in a cake pan, the sauce drips out and makes a mess in the oven. So, just follow the recipe & it should be fine.

I've put the step-by-step pictures below. You can find the detailed recipe here.

All Ingredients:

 Melt the butter:

 Once butter is melted, add brown sugar and keep stirring for about 4 minutes:

Cut a baking paper to the shape of the cake pan. I did this so that the pineapples don't get stuck to the pan:

 Add the sauce to the cake pan:

Arrange the pineapple slices in the pan:

Sift the dry ingredients, except sugar:

Beat the butter and sugar:

Add eggs, vanilla and rum (one at a time, mixing after each addition):

Add half of sifted dry ingredients,mix, and then add pineapple juice:

Add the rest of dry ingredients & mix:

Pour in the cake pan and bake in oven at 180C for 45 minutes until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean:

Let the cake stand for 5 minutes. Then, flip it on a dish and sprinkle with rum:

Serve with fresh fruits or icecream, YUM!

Next time that I make it, I'll use a 20cm instead of 24cm cake pan/skillet so that the cake will be thicker.


NOTE: This cake is best served warn. You can taste the butter if you serve it straight out of the fridge. So, make sure you reheat it before serving.