January 26, 2010

Home Made Apple Pie

I was going over my pile of recipes and encountered a classic Apple Pie recipe. I remember how it used to make the house smell like Christmas!

I made a tart like shell and placed them in the individual Flexipan Moulds so as to avoid the who gets the biggest slice problem.

No apple pie is complete (for me) without a streusel topping, and served a la mode. But for this case, I had a craving for chef Ariel Manuel's vanilla almond ice cream. :)

January 15, 2010

My Take on Danish Pastries

I was so amazed with the great looking danish pastries I encountered in my trips abroad that I decided to try making some myself. I tried doing it without the help of a sheeting machine to give me an extra challenge (and because it's broken). All you need is the good old rolling pin and a week's worth of workout.

Bread Flour - 400 grams
Soft Flour - 100 grams
Water (with ice) - 225 grams
Eggs - 50 grams
Milk Powder - 20 grams
Butter - 30 grams
Salt - 8 grams
Saf Instant Yeast - 8 grams
Magimix Green (bread improver) - 2 grams

Butter (set aside) - 225 grams

The butter set aside is to be placed inside the dough, to be sheeted so that the pastry could attain its flakiness.

After folding, freezing, sheeting for a couple of times, it will be ready to be cut/shaped (easier said than done).

I had to bake it at a high temperature at the beginning to make sure that all the butter gets evaporated quickly for flaky texture. Around 200 degrees Celsius for 5 minutes, then 170 degrees for another 10.

The pastries look almost done just 5 minutes in the oven, but it will still take a while to get it baked all the way inside the dough.

The results:

The Pinwheel, a classic shape for danish pastries

and a less traditional triangle-like shape.

At least there were two that came out okay. :)

January 11, 2010

Coffee Creme Brulee Tarts

For the holidays, I combined two of the more interesting product lines that we have, Demarle and Martin Braun, and came up with an easy way of making simple yet fancy pastries. Here is an (almost) step-by-step process to make coffee creme brulee on shortbread pastry (tart shells).

Ingredients for the tart shells:

All Purpose Flour - 150 grams
Butter - 60 grams (cut into small cubes)
Powdered Sugar - 50 grams
Eggs - 25 grams (just add the yolk and a small portion of the white)
Salt - 2 grams

Cut the butter into the flour.
Knead in the powdered sugar, eggs and salt.
Once combined, compress the dough and wrap it in cling wrap.
Place in the chiller roughly 1 - 2 hours.

After chilling, roll the dough between two Silpat mats until 2-3mm thick.

I used this fluted exoglass cutter to cut the dough.

Here's a simple trick I used with the flexipans. Simply invert the moulds and place the cut dough on top of each indent, making sure it is perfectly centered. I used a Mini Charlotte mould for this one.

Works well with the Chinese Spoon mould too.

Bake it in the oven for 8minutes at around 170 degrees. It really depends on how dark you want your tart shell to be. But for this setting, the shells will only have a slight golden brown color.

Now you have your tart shell!

For the coffee creme brulee, I used our instant creme brulee powder from Martin Braun. Makes it a LOT easier. Hehe

Ingredients for coffee creme brulee:

Creme Brulee Powder - 100 grams
Cream - 200 grams
Milk - 200 grams
Instant coffee - 5 grams


Heat the milk, cream and the instant coffee on a saucepan over low heat until it starts to bubble.
Add the creme brulee powder.
Pour into Flexipan Mini Quenelles and Mini Charlotte moulds.

Just fill a small amount for the mini charlottes.

Allow it to cool for 15 - 20 minutes, then place the Flexipan moulds in the freezer for at least 2 - 3 hours. Unmould the frozen creme brulee and place on tart shells.

Coffee Creme Brulee on Chinese Spoons

Coffee Creme Brulee Charlottes