Posts Tagged ‘ Almond ’

Bakewell Tart

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I almost fainted when I red this month challenge… c’mon, shortcrust pastry in 38′ C? I mean I love

tart and I love frangipane… but man… summer time in the desert is not the right best time to make short crust pastry.

Not only  I tried to be dare but  I also kept telling my self to be brave, even got a little bit delirious, because my brain was playing this mission impossible theme song through out the whole process of pastry making.

Long story short, I did my best and the tarts turned out better than I expected. I made  little “barquette” shapes with strawberry compote, because I think  these tarts are just like financiers on pastries.

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The June Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar. They chose a Traditional (UK) Bakewell Tart… er… pudding that was inspired by a rich baking history dating back to the 1800′s in England.

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Bakewell Tart…er…pudding

Makes one 23cm (9” tart)
Prep time: less than 10 minutes (plus time for the individual elements)
Resting time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes
Equipment needed: 23cm (9”) tart pan or pie tin (preferably with ridged edges), rolling pin

One quantity sweet shortcrust pastry (recipe follows)
Bench flour
250ml (1cup (8 US fl. oz)) jam or curd, warmed for spreadability
One quantity frangipane (recipe follows)
One handful blanched, flaked almonds

Assembling the tart
Place the chilled dough disc on a lightly floured surface. If it’s overly cold, you will need to let it become acclimatised for about 15 minutes before you roll it out. Flour the rolling pin and roll the pastry to 5mm (1/4”) thickness, by rolling in one direction only (start from the centre and roll away from you), and turning the disc a quarter turn after each roll. When the pastry is to the desired size and thickness, transfer it to the tart pan, press in and trim the excess dough. Patch any holes, fissures or tears with trimmed bits. Chill in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 200C/400F.

Remove shell from freezer, spread as even a layer as you can of jam onto the pastry base. Top with frangipane, spreading to cover the entire surface of the tart. Smooth the top and pop into the oven for 30 minutes. Five minutes before the tart is done, the top will be poofy and brownish. Remove from oven and strew flaked almonds on top and return to the heat for the last five minutes of baking.

The finished tart will have a golden crust and the frangipane will be tanned, poofy and a bit spongy-looking. Remove from the oven and cool on the counter. Serve warm, with crème fraîche, whipped cream or custard sauce if you wish.

When you slice into the tart, the almond paste will be firm, but slightly squidgy and the crust should be crisp but not tough.

Jasmine’s notes:
• If you cannot have nuts, you can try substituting Victoria sponge for the frangipane. It’s a pretty popular popular cake, so you shouldn’t have any troubles finding one in one of your cookbooks or through a Google search. That said, our dear Natalie at Gluten a Go Go has sourced some recipes and linked to them in the related alt.db thread.
• You can use whichever jam you wish, but if you choose something with a lot of seeds, such as raspberry or blackberry, you should sieve them out.
• The jam quantity can be anywhere from 60ml (1/4 cup) to 250ml (1cup), depending upon how “damp” and strongly flavoured your preserves are. I made it with the lesser quantity of home made strawberry jam, while Annemarie made it with the greater quantity of cherry jam; we both had fabulous results. If in doubt, just split the difference and spread 150ml (2/3cup) on the crust.
Annemarie’s notes:
• The excess shortcrust can be rolled out and cut into cookie-shapes (heck, it’s pretty darned close to a shortbread dough).

Sweet shortcrust pastry

Prep time: 15-20 minutes
Resting time: 30 minutes (minimum)
Equipment needed: bowls, box grater, cling film

225g (8oz) all purpose flour
30g (1oz) sugar
2.5ml (½ tsp) salt
110g (4oz) unsalted butter, cold (frozen is better)
2 (2) egg yolks
2.5ml (½ tsp) almond extract (optional)
15-30ml (1-2 Tbsp) cold water

Sift together flour, sugar and salt. Grate butter into the flour mixture, using the large hole-side of a box grater. Using your finger tips only, and working very quickly, rub the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Set aside.

Lightly beat the egg yolks with the almond extract (if using) and quickly mix into the flour mixture. Keep mixing while dribbling in the water, only adding enough to form a cohesive and slightly sticky dough.

Form the dough into a disc, wrap in cling and refrigerate for at least 30 minute

Frangipane

Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Equipment needed: bowls, hand mixer, rubber spatula

125g (4.5oz) unsalted butter, softened
125g (4.5oz) icing sugar
3 (3) eggs
2.5ml (½ tsp) almond extract
125g (4.5oz) ground almonds
30g (1oz) all purpose flour

Cream butter and sugar together for about a minute or until the mixture is primrose in colour and very fluffy. Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. The batter may appear to curdle. In the words of Douglas Adams: Don’t panic. Really. It’ll be fine. After all three are in, pour in the almond extract and mix for about another 30 seconds and scrape down the sides again. With the beaters on, spoon in the ground nuts and the flour. Mix well. The mixture will be soft, keep its slightly curdled look (mostly from the almonds) and retain its pallid yellow colour.

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Dates Financiers

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 This month  life question is… when is “enough is enough”? :) …  I wanted to start with my annual spring cleaning… and wanted to start from the kitchen… as I looked at inside all of my kitchen cupboard… they are all full… full with props and actual kitchen utensils/ware.

For my wardrobe I have a system that has been working… one in one out, buy one new dress and give away or donate one old dress  … but with kitchen stuff I only want more and more…and more…no giving away or throwing away or any other “away” what so ever :p

After Brioche mold, I want Madeleinesmold after that I got barquete mold … and I’m still wishing to have  the rectangle financiers mold… and after… who knows what else…

I really need a system… otherwise I can’t move in my full kitchen… can anybody help me?

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I used Dorie Greenspaan’s recipe from here, the only thing I changed, is I used ghee instead of butter, as traditional financiers use Beurre noisette in the recipe.

Pandan Shades Sesame Seeds Macarons and Express Chocolate Mousse

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Instant craving for something made out chocolate is typically my sweet habit (yes, I’m a chocoholic, who isn’t?)… Nigella Lawson’s show brought this express chocolate mousse to my attention and I knew then  I had to make it right away.

While licking my spatula clean, I had a thought that it would be great with some macarons, so why not make macarons too?… great idea isn’t it? Well, the execution was another thing… I learned my lesson the hard way, that express doesn’t  have to mean rushing… I wanted the macarons to be done quickly, added  a pinch of salt in the egg whites to rise quickly, and my macarons came out dry without leg..(either from the salt or me changing the brand of the powder sugar)… my first macaron disaster

Then I had to wait until the next day, because I didn’t have enough almonds to start a new batch.  The next morning I bought some almonds and the old brand powder sugar, so the second time it has to work, hasn’t it?…I was already smiling when I saw those frilly legs coming out, but not to long… because then the tops started to crack. Arrrgh…I think it’s the weather or I’ve lost my “macaronage” touch (yeah…blame it on the rain).

That was the second disaster… but I’m not a quiter… I just had to eat my chocolate mousse with some macarons, so the third batch went to the oven… and.. finally I can be happy :)

 

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I used the macaroon recipe from the best food blog 2008, I used 30 gr of sesame powder and 80 gr almond meal, with the colouring, instead of mixing it all  the way through, I just folded it a couple of tuns to leave shades kind of colour.

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Nigella’s Express Chocolate Mousse

Ingredients

  • 150g mini marshmallows
  • 50g soft butter
  • 250g good dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids), chopped into small pieces
  • 60ml hot water from a recently boiled kettle
  • 1 x 284ml tub double cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

 
 
  1. Put the marshmallows, butter, chocolate and water in a heavy-based saucepan.
  2. Put the saucepan on the hob, over heat, though keep it fairly gentle, to melt the contents, stirring every now and again. Remove from the heat.
  3. Meanwhile, whip the cream with the vanilla extract until thick, and then fold into the cooling chocolate mixture until you have a smooth, cohesive mixture.
  4. Pour or scrape into 4 glasses or ramekins, about 175ml each in capacity, or 6 smaller (125ml) ones, and chill until you want to eat. The sooner the better!
   
   

Iced Strawberry Sahlab

Today’s temperature was so hot, I just felt the need of making a nice cold drink. A little bored by smoothies so I figured why not make iced sahlab and  Inspired by Clumbsy Cookie, then came the idea of flavoring it extra, with strawberries. The result was awesome, fresh flowery cold summer drink.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Sahlab powder or 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 cups milk
  • 3 tablespoons sugar,
  • 1 cup almond powder
  • 2 teaspoons orange-blossom water
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped pistachios
  • 200gr Strawberies
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ice cubes

Directions

Mix the Sahlab powder or cornstarch with a few tablespoons of milk.  Bring the remaining milk to a boil.  Pour in the starch mixture, stir, so that lumps do not form.  Cook over very low heat, stirring continuously, until the milk thickens . Then stir in the sugar, almond powder and orange blossom water. Let it cool.

In a blender mix strawberries, ice cubes and cooled sahlab.

Serve with the chopped pistachios and cinnamon as garnish. 

Almond Saffron Agar-Agar

Dwiana  has so sweetly invited me for this photography contest, it’s a cool event with amazing prizes, but for me it’s kinda difficult theme, as Indonesian cooking is seldom simple and often  multi-colours instead of bi-colours. However, to honour a personal invitation I felt I had to join and I hope she’ll like my entry as well.

Indonesian cuisine, is one of of the richest cuisine in the world, so many spices and so many influences. It has influences from the east  like China, India, Middle east and from the west like Dutch and Portuguese. Nevertheless Indonesian cuisine is very distinct yet versatile by taste and appearance.

So for this event, I try to combine two of main influences  (Chinese and Indian) and a well known Indonesian ingredient agar agar

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons agar-agar powder
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond essence
  • Saffron flower to sprinkle

Directions

  1. Place the water and sugar in a small pan
  2. Sprinkle over the agar-agar powder.
  3. Bring the mixture to the boil
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and add the evaporated milk and almond essence.
  5. Pour the mixture into a shallow 18 X 28 cm pan to set.
  6. Sprinkle with saffron flower
  7. Chill for at least 1 hour.

 

Coffee Macarons with Dark Chocolate Ganache

What’s for breakfast today? Macarooooooon…. qiqiiiq, I’m SAHM with a baby and a pre-schooler (on holidays) I need the sugar boost every morning ;) , actually I wanted to make this, but my dh forgot to buy pistachio last night (although I specifically asked him to please bring some pistachio home, after work :(  )

So I made a turn to this, trying to expand my “macaron making skill”… daring another recipe… I think once you succeed, you’ll be coming back for more.

I made sure that the white eggs “aged” well, leaved them over night AND zapped them in the microwave for 10 secs, I don’t have oven thermometer, but I try to touch the door of my gas oven just to make sure if its warm enough. I also  literally watch my macarons from the beginning I baked them in (like a child looking behind the candy shop window), making sure that they showed their “legs” in 5 minutes ( I red somewhere, that if they don’t, you can stop baking because it means that your macarons are doomed)

I’m happy with the legs, but not so much with the dof  (un-smooth) top shell’s surfaces.

The process of learning still going on…

M’sakhan

 

Another simple middle-eastern recipe, perfect for light lunch, crispy Arabic bread, crunchy sauteed almonds , the tasteful onions,  a hint of sourness of sumac and moist with olives oil… yum…yum…

I’m sending this for the entry of AWED: Middle Eastern Cuisine , host by Siri and Dhivya.

Recipe for the bread, you can find it here,

 Toppings

  • 100 gr Almonds or peanuts
  • 1 medium onion (diced)
  • 2 tbsp Olives oil
  • 2 tsp Sumac
  • Salt

Directions

  1. Saute onions with 1 tbsp olives oil until just soft,  (for non vegetarian you can add chicken fillet), season with salt, mix, remove from the heat, mix with sumac set aside. Heat oven  180′ C
  2. Fried the almonds with the other tbsp of olives oil until golden brown.
  3. Add the sauteed onions and almonds (with all of the oil) on top of the bread, put in the oven for 5 minutes.
  4. Eat while warm

 

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