Category Archives: Baking: Pies & Tarts
For those of us who subscribe to cable, you may have noticed that for the last 2 months, there has been a new channel- Lifetime, running on Starhub TV Channel 514. And one of my favorite cooking series- MasterChef Australia is now one of their anchor shows as well. The well-loved culinary competition which gives home cooks a chance to fulfill their dream is currently airing its 4th season and having been an avid follower since the 1st, I was definitely hooked to this one too.
So when Lifetime Channel brought Singaporean-born MasterChef Australia S4 finalist- Audra Morrice to Singapore about 2 weeks back, along with an invitation to her exclusive MasterClass, I said yes without hesitation. This MasterClass was of course, to be a live demo of her famous Dark Chocolate Raspberry Tart, which was touted as ‘one of the best desserts we’ve ever had’ by the MasterChef Australia judges themselves and the dessert that won her the MasterChef apron through to the Top 24.
And here’s her recipe broken down step by step just for you!
Firstly, pre-heat the oven to 200 C.
- 225g plain flour
- pinch salt
- 2 tablespoons icing sugar
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 140g unsalted cold butter
- 2 tablespoons iced water
Place flour, salt, sugar and cocoa into a food processor and process for 15s until combined. Add butter and process until butter is finely chopped. Add iced water slowly until it forms a dough that comes together when pressed. Wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate for 20 min.
** You can do this step manually with your fingers if you do not have a processor
- 500g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
- 200g unsalted butter, chopped
Im not usually one to make citrus fruits-based desserts but recently I have been experimenting a whole lot more with new ingredients and trying to keep away from my usuals- chocolate, nutella, peanut butter etc.
So when the theme for this month’s SABH was released 2 weeks back, I saw it as a perfect opportunity to really do something different and see how it turns out! And this was truly one huge experiment from start to finish because I did not know what I was expecting most of the time and just varying my measurements along the way as I saw fit. First time ever I was so nervous in the kitchen as to what my oven was about to produce each time the timer stopped!
I made a wholemeal-oatmeal cookie pie crust and had the intention to make indentations in the cookie once it came out of the oven while still warm and soft. But what I did not expect was that while my cookie base was cooling down on its own in the muffin pan, it started to indent all by itself! So basically I did not have to do anything but just taken the pan out of the oven and put it aside to cool and allow the magic to happen all by itself.
Next I filled it with lemon curd which I had made the night before. This was my own recipe- got a couple of tips here and there from online recipes on how to know it was ready and how to store it but apart from that, I just played around with the number of eggs and lemons to use until the taste was right for me.
As I had mentioned in my Peanut Butter Muffin Pies post about being a Nutella fanatic, I decided to pay tribute to this love affair but having some (or rather A LOT) of Nutella in my Bake of the Week which incidentally coincided with this month’s Sweet Adventures Blog Hop.
I had absolutely no idea what to make when I first got wind of the theme for March- Layer upon Layer and ending up having to do quite a bit of research on my usual food blogs for inspiration. I had even considered not taking part this time because most of the things I found were either Mille Crepes, Dobos Torte (which I was extremely fascinated with) or the Asian Thousand Layer Cake more commonly known as Kueh Lapis. These recipes were complicated and unfortunately very time consuming. With my current condition, standing for long hours was simply out of the question and as such, so were these recipes :(
So I put the thought of participating in this month’s theme off for a while and tried opening my mind to other possibilities which was when I found this beautiful Nutella Cheesecake Bar by Bakers Royale recipe!
Though the bar looked complicated, the steps were simple and the best part was that it fulfilled the theme by having 3 layers! I was psyched at the prospect of making something that sounded so yummy even before I got down to baking it!
Dark chocolate, chocolate chips, cream cheese and Nutella… No Mam’, the combination does not get better than that.
I made a few adaptations to the original recipe simply because I did not have a rectangular 14X4 inch tart pan. I made a trip down to my usual baking shop in Holland Village with the intention of getting one but it was out of stock till end April. Daddy was sweet enough to drive me down to a few kitchen tools stores in Temple Street but none of them sold the rectangular pans. Had I known that it was this difficult finding rectangular tart pans, I would have bought one back in Adelaide when I had the chance to!
The recipe starts off with baking the chocolate chip cookie crust and the Nutella cheesecake layer together but honestly if I were to redo this, I would have baked the cookie crust in the oven for about 10 min first before adding the Nutella Cheesecake layer so that the crust would be more crisp and there would be a better contrast in textures.
Made this for May’s 21st 2 weeks ago because she wasnt too big a fan of chocolate…
297g sugar (I used 150g)
198g light brown sugar (I used 150g instead)
1/4 tsp salt
21g milk powder (I used corn starch)
1 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup plus a scant 2 Tbsp heavy cream (I used the light version 97% fat free)
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 egg yolks
600g biscuits (Digestives or Arnotts Scott Fingers)
- Whiz the 600g biscuits in a blender until all crumbly (or put the biscuits into a ziplock bag and smash it)
- Add the melted butter. Give it a stir and the mixture should be just about able to re-form into dough. If not add more butter but be careful of adding too much or the tart shell will leak and be greasy.
- Press the crust into each shell to form a thin, even layer along the bottom and sides of the tins. Don’t leave any holes!
- Put tart shell into the freezer for it to set while you prepare the filling
- Pre-heat oven to 175C.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, brown sugar, salt and milk powder.
- Whisk in the melted butter. Then whisk in the cream and vanilla. Gently whisk in the egg yolks, being careful not to add too much air.
- Bake the pies for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 165C and bake until the filling is slightly jiggly and golden brown for about 10 minutes.
- Bake longer if you want a firmer filling.
I dont have a photo for the cross section of the cake since I was not allowed to cut it before the birthday girl did =P But anyhow this is the super simplified version of the crack pie from (chocolatesuze) because the original one is way too complicated for my simple brain. Am definitely going to visit the original Momofuku Bakery and Milk Bar (207 Second Avenue, New York NY 10003) end of this year and I’ll let you know if both taste the same :)
Another ‘NotquiteNigella’ recipe :)
My oven overheated in the process of making these and crashed 3 times on me :( Major disaster.. but at least I managed to get the 1st batch out before the crashing started…
Anyhow this is supposedly ‘guiltless’ because I have been putting on quite a bit of weight lately due to my kitchen escapades and chocolate/macarons cravings so this time instead of using cream, I used pure skimmed milk. Now while I am not one to compromise taste for calories, if the end product still tastes equally good then I guess there is no harm in using the lighter alternative! And in this case, the custard still tasted as thick and creamy so that’s one thing that worked out well! :) In contrast to burnt pastry :(
- 3 egg yolks (I used 2 egg yolks and 1 whole egg)
- 115g caster sugar
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- 230ml cream (or 400ml of milk)
- 170ml milk (skimmed or full cream)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 sheet rolled puff pastry (Cut into 1/2, put one sheet on top of the other and roll)
Put the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour in a pot and whisk together. Gradually whisk in the cream and milk until smooth. Place the pot over a medium heat and cook, stirring, until the mixture thickens and comes to the boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
Transfer the custard to a bowl, cover the surface with cling film to prevent a skin forming and leave to cool.
Preheat the oven to 200C (or higher if your oven is not fan forced).
Cut the pastry dough sheet in half, put one half on top of the other and set aside for 5 minutes. Roll up the pastry tightly from the short end and cut the pastry log into 12 x 1cm rounds.
Lay each pastry round on a lightly floured surface and use a rolling pin to roll out until each is 10cm in diameter.
Press the pastry rounds into the muffin tin. Spoon the cooled custard into the pastry cases and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the pastry and custard are golden
Leave the tarts in the tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Try and eat the custard tarts straight after they have cooled on the wire racks
- The crust gets soggy after 4hrs and leave for more than 24hrs, it tastes really bad even if it was put in an airtight container!