CNY Pineapple Mango Tarts aka Greedy Tarts

March 18, 2015

pineapple mango tarts

Confession: I’m not the massive-est fan of pineapple tarts, but baked these in some attempt to appease family/ ancestral guilt
Confession 2: I altered the recipe to be the opposite of what pineapple tarts are supposed to be like. ie. pastry shell: less crumbly and more solid, jam: less sweet

Makes approximately 20 tarts – 10g filling, 12-15 g cookie layer

Pineapple “Jam” filling

1 can pineapple, drained
2 tbsp/ 40g sugar
50-100g dried mango, chopped
1-1.5 tbsp cornflour
plain/ all purpose flour – dusting, optional

Blend or grate the pineapple until almost pureed
In a small saucepan, simmer pineapple with sugar and dried mango until liquid has dried up and the pineapple is golden
Add cornflour and cook for another few more minutes
Cool pineapple completely, then form into 10g balls. Lightly dust hands with plain flour if the filling is sticky.

Almond cookie dough used for the tart “shell”
Use 1/3 quantity of the almond cookie recipe, omitting the baking powder (if you remember) instructions here (based on an awesome almond cookie recipe from Everybody Eats Well in Flanders).
Plus: glaze: 1 egg yolk beaten with 1-2tsp water

Form the pineapple filling into 10g balls, using a light dusting of plain flour if the filling is too sticky.
Form the almond cookie dough into 12-15g balls.

Roll each cookie dough ball out to a circle big enough to wrap the pineapple balls.
It may be helpful to roll the cookie dough between sheets of cling film, to avoid it getting too sticky/ crumbly.
If you’re having trouble wrapping the tarts, you can also use the cling film to form the tarts by placing a ball of filling onto a circle of cookie dough, then gathering the cling film up and twisting, which will gradually press it all into a round wrapped ball.

“Mend” any cracks in the tarts by gently smoothing them over with a flat edge eg. butter knife.

Glaze the tarts with egg yolk and bake at 150C for about 15 minutes (until golden brown)

baking pineapple tarts

If you have any leftover almond cookie dough, bake some almond cookies :)

CNY (tardy) Almond Cookies

March 16, 2015

Almond Cookies

Recipe adapted from the Everybody Eats Well in Flanders’ almond cookie recipe

I used all butter, omitted the vanilla essence, and used caster sugar (icing sugar had run out, I prefer a slightly less crumbly cookie, and it’s so much more manageable). Reduced the amount of baking powder to almost nothing as I don’t want the cookies to spread too much and lose their shape. Also, shaped the cookies to a smaller size using a mould so cooking time is adjusted accordingly. And baked it at my usual “cookie” temperature/ time as I like to bake cookies at a lower temperature to get (my preferred) crispy vs melty texture. No glaze.

This makes about 60 teeny tiny cookies. I bake about 1/3 of the dough at a time, storing the rest in the fridge/ freezer.

125g butter (room temperature/ soft)
100g sugar (icing, caster, granulated, it doesn’t matter really)
1 egg yolk
175g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 (very light sprinkle) salt
75g ground almonds

Cream the butter and sugar together.
Add the egg yolk
Fold/ stir in the flour/ salt/ baking powder
Stir in the ground almonds. Combine with your hands if necessary.

Divide the dough into 3, and either bake right away or form into logs, wrap in cling film and store in the fridge/ freezer as required.

Shape the cookies into 9g balls, and bake at 140C for about 15 minutes.

unbaked almond cookies

Baked BBQ Chicken bao

January 20, 2015
bbq chicken bao

bbq chicken bao

I used this recipe from an incredible blog, using boneless chicken thighs. I used about 200g, half a 450g pack, cooked the whole pack with char-siu marinade, use the rest for snacking…

The recipe is very easy to make as it’s just a standard yeasted dough, no tang zhong method or anything vaguely intuitive.

BBQ the chicken and make the filling the night before so it can cool. Let the dough first rise over night somewhere v v cool, then finish it the next morning, so you have fresh buns for breakfast! (after a long lie-in)

Char siu recipe to follow….

Makes about 12 (small buns) and the universal response was “must eat more”

Fluffy Buns I – HK style Red Bean Buns

November 14, 2011
Hong Kong style Red bean buns

Hong Kong style Red bean buns

Based on this recipe. A half quantity of the original recipe made approximately 10 rolls.

The original recipe uses yeast in packs of 11g, the ones I get here are 7g, I just made do and the rolls turned out fine. I also reduced the oven temperature by 20C to 180C as my oven is fan assisted.

1 packet active yeast (7gm)
1 tbsp granulated sugar
100 ml milk (luke warm/ just above room temperature)
250 gm ‘strong’ white flour
75 gm plain ‘all purpose’ flour
35 gm softened butter
40 gm granulated sugar
1 egg
1 pinch of salt
milk or olive oil if needed for dough
milk or egg for glazing buns before baking
approx. 200g red bean paste for filling (if desired)

Sprinkle the yeast and sugar on top of the milk and leave to froth (approx. 10 minutes)
Combine the rest of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl, create a ‘well’ in the middle of the flour, add the yeast mixture, and knead until an elastic dough is formed (approx. 10-15 minutes), adding milk or olive oil if dough is too dry.
Cover the dough (I usually just bung the whole mixing bowl into a plastic bag and tie the top) and leave to prove until doubled in size – 45 minutes to 1.5 hours depending on the warmth of the kitchen etc.
Divide the dough into 50g portions and either shape and leave to rest, or fill with red bean paste (I used 20g for each bun) and then leave to rest, until double again. Second rise will take approx. 20-30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 180C.
Glaze with milk or beaten egg (egg will give a much more shiny finish – the buns in the picture above are glazed with milk) then bake for 20 minutes.
Cool buns on a wire rack before serving

Buns will stay soft for a day or two, or can also be frozen (in which case freeze asap after cooling to maximise softness).

Jagung (Corn) Kuih

October 25, 2011
Jagung Hoon Kwee

Jagung Hoon Kwee

This kuih is made from Hoon Kwee (green or mung bean flour) which absorbs many times its own volume in water to set. It’s most likely the easiest kueh to make.

I used to make a banana version wrapped in banana leaves with family in Penang when I was little, then had the jagung version frequently in Singapore, and, for some reason, on Singapore Airlines flying between the two. These were slices wrapped in plastic wrap but they always had it every year.

Anyways, green bean flour is a bit difficult to come by but Tung Hing in Acton, West London, sells 100g packs for 50p each.

Recipe based on here. I did a half quantity as part of a variety I used to experiment on my family. Feedback was that they were delicious!

Did not use the pandan from the original recipe as I only had pandan paste and due to a big kueh month was a bit over having everything that I cook turn out lurid green.
As I did not have banana leaves, I used a mixture of Hello Kitty moulds and a mini muffin tin, to get small bite sized pieces. (Can use foil instead of banana leaves but this is not filling-friendly)
I added the jagung/ corn at the end as I wanted to avoid the corn breaking up in the mixture.
I cooked the final kueh mixture in a double boiler instead of over direct heat as I’m a pussy.

Half pack (50g) Hoon Kwee (green bean flour)
250ml coconut cream (I reconstituted from Creamed Coconut)
250ml water
100g granulated sugar
3/8 tspn salt
1 small can corn, drained (use more if you like)

Mix the coconut cream with the water.
Mix half of this with the hoon kwee and salt in a large heatproof bowl; set aside to soak.
Put the other half of the coconut cream/ water mixture in a pot. Add the sugar and heat until the sugar has dissolved.
Add this to the coconut cream/ hoon kwee mixture, stirring whilst pouring.
Place this bowl over a pan of hot water and cook, whisking/ stirring pretty much all the time until it thickens. It will be like a thick custard.
Either mix the corn in at this point and pour into moulds or layer with the hoon kwee in the moulds/ fold into parcels using banana leaf/ foil.
Set in fridge (hour or so should be plenty), serve chilled.

Pisang Kuih
Tried to make the banana version but did not steam the bananas before putting in the kueh, just mixed it in. Colour is a very gross brown/ grey, but it was very delicious. So pre-steam the bananas or be patient enough to layer the hoon kwee mixture with the fruit. Otherwise Hello Kitty and her sisters look like they’ve just been in a fight…. init….