Thursday, August 30, 2012

Apple almond cheese tartlet

We had more apples from our garden so... this time...I made Apple tartlets. Ooh, I love little tartlets. Especially with two apple wedges on top they looked very pretty. ;D

And of course, the look wasn't the only thing about these little ones. The sweetness of apple confiture and creamy almond and cheese filling was so spot on! In fact, it was so good that I scoffed one when we came back home at 1 o'clock in the morning!  (guess where we were... no...not partying... we were in IKEA for 5 hours!!!)

Here is how these little treats are made...


Sweet pastry 1

Cream cheese 200g
Apple confiture 140g
Almond powder 100g
Egg 1

Apple 1 (cut into 8 pieces)
Sugar 50g

1. Make sweet pastry (see my lemon meringue tart for the recipe). Line the pastry on each tartlet tin. Preheat the oven to 180ºc.
2. Make the topping. Put sugar in a pan on a low heat. When the sugar is melted, add apple and cook for 5 minutes.
3. Make the filling. Combine all the ingredients for the filling and mix well.
4. Pour the filling mixture evenly into each tartlet case.
5. Put cooked apples on top of 4. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the top of the tartlets are slightly golden. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Apple crumble cake

Another cake made with the apples with our garden. This time, it's the classic Apple crumble cake. (Have you seen the mini apple pies?)

I used the same apple confiture as the one I used for my mini apple pie. With a generous amount of the apple confiture, the cake had a nice moisture as well as the richness of apple. Yum yum yum...

Oh, and don't forget the crumble topping. I love that crunchiness so much that I was cutting the top bits off to eat... cheeky...;D

This apple cake was good when it was freshly baked but tasted even better when it was cooled in the fridge. Seriously..., it was really tasty. I think this cake was one of the best cakes I've recently made... (saying it myself...). :)

Flour 150g
Baking powder 1 tsp
Brown sugar 150g
Egg 3
Butter (melted) 100g
Apple confiture 100g
Butter 50g
Demerara sugar 50g
Flour 75g

1. Preheat the oven to 180ºc. Make the crumble by combining all the ingredients in a bowl and rub with fingers until the mixture becomes sandy.
2. Make the cake mixture. Beat eggs and sugar together until it's fluffy.
3. Add melted butter into 2 and mix well.
4. Sift flour and baking powder. Fold them into 3.
5. Fold in apple confiture into 4.
6. Pour the cake mixture into a cake tin. Put the crumble on top.
7. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes or until the top of the cake is lightly golden.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Banana yeast bread

Another home grown yeast. This time with my favourite fruit, Banana! I used a very ripe banana and it was ready in 4 days, which was the shortest compared to my other yeast. (have you seen my raisin yeast and lemon yeast?)

In fact it was so quick that even on day 2 I could see some bubbles and smell that distinctive aroma. On day 4, as soon as I took the lid off the strong smell of banana hit my nose. And there was me thinking... "Hum, this is good. Very promising. ;) "

So, the yeast was done. Now the bread. The dough took about a day to rise and after I bake it, it came out looking nice and soft. It had a good texture and was nice toasted with butter or cheese. I think this dough will also work well with some sweet filling like custard or cream cheese, or even cinnamon roll might be a good idea too... Next time I'll experiment a bit more. :)

Banana yeast

Water 400ml
Banana 1 (cut into 5-6 pieces)

1. Sterilize the jar which you are going to put the water and banana.
2. Place water, banana in the jar. Put on the lid and give a little shake. Place in a room temperature.
3. Shake the jar a couple of times a day and each time open the lid to give it a fresh air.
4. After a few days, the banana starts to come up to the top, and you'll start to notice some bubbles around the banana as well as "wine-like" smell.
5. When all the banana has come up to the top, and you hear "pop" as you open the lid, that's the sign of done!
If you noticed any strange smell or mould in the jar, unfortunately it's gone off..., so start again... Make sure that you sterilize everything you use including spoons or measuring cups.

Banana yeast bread

Flour 250g
Banana yeast liquid 180g
Butter 20g
Oil 30g
Egg 1
Sugar 30g

1. Combine all the ingredients and mix until it becomes a dough.
2. Place the dough on a floured surface and kneed for 10 to 15 minutes until the surface of the dough is smooth.
3. Place the dough in a clean bowl and cover. Leave it until the dough has become twice the size of the initial size. (it might take more than a day depending on the yeast and temperature.)
4. Take out the dough on a floured surface, and punch it to get the air out.
5. Reshape the dough and place it in a baking tin. Cover the bread and leave it in a warm place. Prove until the bread has become twice the size of the initial size.
7. Preheat the oven to 200º. Bake for 45 minutes.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Mini apple pie

We had the first harvest from our garden's apple tree the other day and yes of course, there is no time for me to wait but go in the kitchen to make the classic apple dessert, Apple pie!

First I made an apple confiture to put in the pie. I used much less sugar than I normally does when I make a jam in order to enjoy the natural sweetness of the apples.

This time I made the puff pastry myself too. It came out pretty well. The pastry rose nicely and was light and flaky.

Instead of a big pie, I baked mini apple pies. They were easy to pick up..., maybe too easy that you eat more and more...

The apples you grow yourself taste so good and feels rewarding too. There are more apples on the tree. Hummm, what shall I make next... ;)

Puff pastry from scratch? Why not? :)

Puff pastry
Butter (diced and softened) 100g 
Flour 200g
Cold water 100ml
Salt pinch

Apple confiture
2-3 tbsp each

1. Prepare the puff pastry. Sift flour in a bowl and add cold water to make a smooth dough. 
2. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to a square (1cm thick).
3. Place the butter in the middle of the dough and fold the 4 corners so that the butter is properly sealed. Chill in the freezer for 10 minutes.
4. Roll out the dough again to a long rectangle. (5mm thick)
5. Letter fold the dough.
6. Turn the dough 90 degrees.
7. Repeat 4 and 5. Wrap the dough in the cling film and chill in the freezer for 10 minutes.
8. Repeat 4 to 7 two more times. (see below for how to.)

9. Preheat the oven to 180ºc. Roll out the dough very thinly. Cut it into 8 pieces. Press the pastry into cupcake tin.
10. Put 2-3 tbsp of apple confiture into the pastry. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the top becomes golden.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

30th birthday cake for a neighbour's son

It's been a little while since I made this kind of cake...
(if I remembered correctly, the last time was that 5 tire wedding cake!)

So, I had a birthday cake order from our neighbour. It was their son's 30th birthday yesterday. I made a classic sponge cake with jam and butter cream in the middle and iced the cake.

It was nice to make something a bit more "formal" than my usual style. However I have to admit that it's not the most fun thing to do when you have a very demanding little person always needing you for one thing and another. It just so hard to focus!!

Anyway, I managed to deliver the cake on time and we were even given a few pieces of the cake and a glass of champagne. ;)

Happy 30th birthday, Mr G.