Chocolate Mouse Tart

This was one of my hardest bakes because everything went wrong with it.

I made the chocolate pastry but couldn’t roll it out without it breaking all the time.  I did try different things like putting it back in the fridge for a bit longer and also adding some liquid to it but nothing would make it any better.  In the end I rolled out what I could and patched the pastry pieces together.  I really didn’t like this pastry.

I did some reading on the computer and there are lots of reasons why it perhaps didn’t work.  Like the pastry was to dry, or to cold.  Somebody said that all flours are different so that could affect it another person said to add an egg to the pastry to help it.

The filling is a bit like a brownie as it has the same ingredients and the texture is similar the difference is the quantities and the time it takes to cook.

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Then to make things worse I managed to over cook the filling but even though I found this bake hard and I made mistakes it still tasted yummy especially with some vanilla ice-cream.

I think I’m going to have to try this recipe again to see if I can get it right.

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Apple Strudel

This week I made an apple strudel.  I have made strudel before although it didn’t turn out very well.  This time round it was much nicer so I’m very happy with that.

Once I had made the pastry it was placed in a bowl covered with grape seed oil and cling film.  I’ve been making pastry for a few weeks now and have never covered it with oil before.  The oil stops the pastry from drying out while it is cooling in the fridge.  It also makes it easier to handle when rolling out.  Grape seed oil is used because it doesn’t have a strong taste which will ruin the strudel

The pastry has to be rolled out thin enough to be able to read a newspaper through it.  This was very hard to achieve and I only managed to do it in areas.

When the pastry has been rolled out, it is then cut into eight squares and placed around a greased tin making sure there are no gaps, otherwise the juices from the apples will leak through the pastry when cooking in the oven.  Sliced apples are then layered over the pastry.  I decided to sprinkle sugar on top of the apples thinking they would caramelise but this was a mistake as the sugar turned into a liquid caramel and leaked through the pastry a bit.

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While this strudel was better than my last attempt there were some faults such as the soggy bottom because of the sugar I had sprinkled on the apple but it was still yummy and tasted even nicer with a bit of custard.

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Sweet Cinnamon Pastry with a Vanilla Cheese Cake Filling

This weeks pastry is a Sweet Cinamon Pastry with a Vanilla Cheese Cake Filling

The pastry is is a short crust pastry with cinnamon added to it.

Pastry

I am now starting to under stand the basics of a pastry recipe and can remember most of the ingredients and their quantities without looking up the recipe  I’m also learning about adding different flavours to the pastry to add variety and to experiment with it

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Filling

The filling was made by heating and gently whisking together together greek yogurt and milk until smooth.  I then mixed together some cornflour and vanilla extract in a bowl and added a little bit of the warm milk mixture.  This was then added to the milk mixture which was then bought to simmering point and whisked until the mixture thickened.  A bit like making a custard.

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While the milk mixture was cooling I whisked together 4 egg whites and castor sugar into firm peaks and then gently folded it into the milk mixture.  The mixture was then poured over the baked cinnamon short crust pastry and placed under the grill for a few minutes to give it a golden top.

I would never have thought to add whipped egg white to make cheese cake filling and I think the egg whites were used make a thickening agent.  The cheese cake filling had a tangy taste and I made a raspberry collis to go with it and make it taste sweeter unfortunately i forgot to take a photograph of the finished cheesecake and by the time I remembered it had all been eaten.

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No soggy bottom

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Crumble Pastry

This week my book covered crumble pastry which is a pastry that is crumbled.  I got excited about making this crumble as it as it contains yummy ingredients being ground almonds and cinnamon. IMG_4440 To make the crumble mixture measure out 150g plain flour, 75g light brown sugar, 75g granulated sugar, 150g softened butter, 150g ground almonds, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and a pinch of salt.  Place all the ingredients on your work surface and work the ingredients together until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. For the filling peel 3 pears and slice them, then cover with lemon juice (this stops the pears from going brown).  Mix together 60g castor sugar and ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, roll the sliced pears in the sugar mixture.  Place the pears into individual oven proof bowls and add a few red grapes to each bowl.  Cover the fruit with the crumble mixture and bake in the oven for 20 minutes on 180°C.  Serve warm with custard, cream or ice cream.  Yum yum….. I’m really enjoying following my new book and although I have made some of the pastries before it’s been fun trying out new fillings with them.  Next week I’m making strawberry fritters something     I haven’t made before.

Sweet Pastry

So this week I made an Orange cream tart using a sweet pastry as my base.  Sweet pastry is also known as Pâte sablée

The pastry consists of

250g plain flour

140g cubed butter

100g castor sugar

1 egg yolk

Add the butter and sugar to the flour and rub together until you have something that looks like fine bread crumbs.  Then mix in  the egg yolk you should now have a ball of pastry, if it isn’t sticking add a bit water to help you form a ball of pastry.  Wrap the pastry in cling film and place in the fridge for two hours.Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 19.25.27

While waiting make your orange cream by heating together in a saucepan the zest of two oranges and 230ml of orange juice until boiling,  In a separate bowl beat 75g of castor sugar, 3 whole eggs, 2 egg yolks and 25g of corn flour.  Pour the heated orange juice and zest into the egg mixture and mix together.  Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and on a medium heat whisk until the mixture has thickened.  Take the mixture off the heat and add 185g of butter and stir until the mixture is smooth and silky. Place the mixture in a bowl and cover with cling film and place in the fridge until cooled.Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 19.21.24 Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 19.19.43

Heat oven to 180°C and grease a 24cm tart tin (with removable bottom).  Roll out the cooled pastry onto a floured surface (it should be 3mm thick) and place over the tart tin and trim the edges.  Prick the base of the pastry.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden.  Leave to cool.Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 19.26.35Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 19.26.42Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 19.27.04Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 19.28.37Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 19.30.05

When cool lightly whisk the orange cream and spread into the tart base.

Place the tart in the freezer for five minutes then sprinkle brown sugar over the tart.  Using a kitchen blow torch caramelise the sugar.  Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 19.10.02

Place the tart back in the fridge for ten minutes and serve with creme fraiche and enjoy.

I didn’t do a custard for this tart as the orange cream is very similar to custard.  The pastry is very rich and so is the filling but yummy.

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Short Crust Pastry

I got given a lovely patisserie book for Christmas full of some amazing recipes and thought it would be fun to try some on my blog and so I’m starting my year with chapter one of my book – learning about all the different pastry’s.

This week I concentrated on short crust pastry which is also known as Pâte Brisée .  With the pastry I made a plum tart and also some homemade custard to go with it.

The pastry consists of

250g plain flour

125g diced butter room temperature

40g sugar

Place all the ingredients into a bowl rub together until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs.  Gradually add 125ml of cold water and knead the pastry into a soft ball (you may not need all the water and this is okay).

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Then cover the pastry in cling film and place in the fridge for two hours.

Putting the pastry in the fridges makes it easier to work with when you are rolling it out and it also means the gluten has time to rest which stops the pastry shrinking when you bake it

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When two hours are up roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface.  The pastry should be about 3mm thick.  Then place the pastry over your greased 24cm tart case (with a removable bottom).  Cut off the excess pastry and then prick the pastry with a fork, this stops the pastry from puffing when it’s in the oven.

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For the plum tart

500g sliced plums

50g fine dried bread crumbs

25g sugar

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

sugar to sprinkle over tart when baked

Sprinkle the breads crumbs on the base of the tart.  This prevents the plum juice from making the pastry soggy.  Arrange the plums in circles on the breadcrumbs and sprinkle the 25g of sugar and ½ teaspoon of cinnamon over the plums.  Then bake for 35 – 40 mins in a preheated oven at  200°C.

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When baked removed from the oven and sprinkle sugar on top of the tart.  Serve warm with a homemade custard.

To make the custard

300ml double or single cream

3 egg yolksScreen Shot 2015-01-20 at 22.53.13

1 level teaspoon castor sugar

2 drops vanilla essence

Heat the cream in a saucepan on  a hob until boiling.  In a separate bowl mix the egg yolks, sugar and corn flour and vanilla essence.  Pour the heated cream into the egg mixture and mix together.  Then pour the custard back into the saucepan and over a low heat whisk gently until thickened the serve with the tart.

I don’t normally like fruit tarts but I really liked this one.  At first I thought the breadcrumbs were odd but they do add a nice texture to the tart.

Join me next week when I make an orange cream tart with a sweet pastry.

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