2nd attempt on pineapple tarts/balls

Monday, January 26, 2009 Posted by YY on 9:45 PM comments (0)

As we had like 2-3 egg yolks leftover from macarons challenge, we just had to re-attempt pineapple tarts before the festive season is over.

*Wonders what we should do with future leftover egg yolks*

K's mum bought 3 pineapples for $2++ only! Nice fragrant stuff~

Following the same recipe for the dough and pineapple jam this time except that we added extra 25g butter to the dough and used fresh pineapples. Vast difference in terms of color between canned and fresh pineapple jam o.0

And this time K made the dough and pineapple jam on his own during the previous night.

It was a race against time as the weather was quite sunny resulting in the butter in the dough to melt faster than expected. K separated the pineapple balls into 1/2 measuring spoon portions while I rolled them into balls.

2 pineapples makes 34balls..that's little. -_-'

Finally done~! This time it tastes exactly like what's sold outside YUM YUM~
Fresh pineapples FTW!

The Macaron Challenge - YY vs K

Sunday, January 25, 2009 Posted by YY on 11:26 AM comments (0)

Following last 2 weeks of failed attempts on making Macarons, I decided to google for more information and guess what? Searching for 'Macaroon' turned up more results actually!

Today I shall avenge myself *got sabo-ed last week by K*.
Two good websites to recommend:
1. Syrup and Tang
2. Almost foolproof Macaron Recipe

Today we shall pit ourselves against each other~ RAWR~!
YY using the 'French Meringue' method from Syrup and Tang.
K using the 'French Meringue' + 'Italian Meringue' method from 'Almost foolproof macaron recipe'.

Since grounded almond and egg whites were common ingredients, we prepared them together.
We ground the almond from 'Red Man' brand thrice and its still too large to pass the sift!

Morale of the story: Don't buy ground almond from 'Red Man'.

Since we had oven constraints, I started first. Measured the dry ingredients and I started whipping the egg whites using my trusty old hand beater *that made all my chiffon cakes*.

K and I were surprised that the egg whites were beaten till white and shiny after adding sugar.
I have never encountered this at home when I used this hand beater with the plastic container that came with it, so it MUST BE the aluminium bowl o.O

Mix finely ground almond, icing sugar and coco powder thoroughly. Remember to sift everything.

K says that I look damn serious. Well, I am serious AND NERVOUS. LOL~

Finally mixed everything in, phew! I was afraid that I will overmix.

My macarons, piped onto the baking sheet. It took about 30mins to "dry" with strong winds.
They have "nipples"! They are female =( *not good at piping yet*

Baking at 160 degrees for about 10mins *can be slightly shorter maybe*
They started forming feet at about 3-4mins which felt like eternity while I stood in front of the oven, peering in through the glass.

About 25 pairs of shells, I am glad that they didn't stick to the baking paper.
To remove the shells easily, spray water underneath the baking paper and let it soak for 1min or so.

After my shells were done, it is K's turn. He's using the SPAR mixer to beat his egg white.
Above pic is after adding castor sugar and sugar syrup to the egg whites.

Nice glossy stable French + Italian meringue *very sweet though*

Mistake! The instructions says to add half of the egg whites to the dry ingredients, however we felt that step could be omitted so K added the stiff egg whites to the dry ingredients directly.
The dry ingredients turned hard and sandy..into one big clump of mess -_-'' omg~

No choice, K continued to fold the clumps in until what seem like a bake-able mixture while "chopping" the clumps as he went along.

The final piped batter was still glossy but somewhat too watery which resulted in..

Siamese twins due to watery mixture but wtf?
These macarons have feet! And they are STILL GLOSSY!
This recipe is indeed FOOL-PROOF!

Introducing Double Mac-Macaron, for lovers only XDD

K's macarons stuck to the baking paper more than mine, we need to check up on this again.

Finally, we have a chance to pipe some fillings for our macarons.
Decided to use the simplest stuff, chocolate ganache since we have chocolate buttons and cream at home.

Pairing the macarons up first before piping ganache into them.

My finished product. =D

K's finished product *hehe*
YY vs K: 1 - 0

Time to share the joy *read calories* with others, dessert for reunion dinner.
Woot~ so what did we do with the leftover egg yolks?

梅光轩 Baikohken Hokkaido Ramen

Friday, January 23, 2009 Posted by YY on 12:18 AM comments (0)

Visited Baikohken for the second time, Baikohken serves hokkaido ramen mainly.

It's a small shop located somewhere off Boat Quay(near Middle Rd), a hidden treasure.

Free ice cold barley tea FTW!

Overall prices are pretty standard about $11-13 for a bowl of ramen.

Gyoza~ $5 for 5pcs.

Shio Ramen comes with bamboo shoots, char siew and leek/spring onions(yummy stuf)~
Whole Egg for extra $1

Shoyu Ramen comes with bamboo shoots, char siew and leek as well.

Personally I find shoyu nicer but K likes shio better.
There's half size noodles here for about $8 which maybe better for me since I felt stuffed after having less than half the bowl of ramen.

It's pretty good except that I don't crave for it *shrugs*

Sankranti AGAIN ^^

Thursday, January 22, 2009 Posted by YY on 12:25 AM comments (0)

Visited Sankranti again with a different group of friends, this time its the SGSBers for a lunch outing. Although it was our second visit, we still did not know what to order.
After some 15mins and flipping from front to back, back to front of the menu...we decided to order some curry, naan and chicken dum biryani.

Funny menu description for Juice Section. Orange juice..Need to say more?

We were wondering if free juice is available during lunch hours. Well, everyone got a cup of watermelon after we placed orders =D

When the waiter asked,"Drinks?" Everyone ordered a glass of Lime Mint but we didn't know what it was actually hahaha~ Then we sat there for the next 15mins, not knowing what to expect.

Lime mint is quite interesting cos it enters your mouth with a burst of mint leaves flavour and turns into sour lime at the next moment. *yum yum*

Finally food arrived and we were so hungry >_<''
Clockwise top left: 1. Tandoori Murg (Full) - Tandoori Chicken, full of charcoal grill flavour. We suspect its done by a different chef this time round cos it actually tasted better!

2. Cheese Naan - Also tasted better today. Yum~

3a. Mutter Methi Malai - We order this dish without knowing what it was. This dish is simply about peas and white cashew sauce which was very flavourful and AWESOME!

3b. Masam Iguru - Mutton Curry. This curry was pretty alright at first with no hint of spiciness, however we started fanning our tongues as we ate. This was Damien's favourite and he actually finished the whole pot of curry while panting and exclaiming that its spicy but he can't stop LOL~

3c. Chicken Dum Biryani - Ordered to feed hungry men.

4. Fish curry - Very little fish inside and also spciy after few mouthfuls. This fish curry was different from the mutton's curry..so K started wondering how many types of curry do they have in their kitchen??!!

5. Pudina Naan - Not in pic. Mint leaves Naan.

Everything was gone in 30mins o.o! And all gave thumbs up for the meal =D
Meanwhile, the SGSBers were poking around the chilli sauce containers and discovered this strange looking pickle in red sauce.

Presenting the SGSB Challenge - Sankranti's Pickles Challenge!
K tried one piece of pickle and ended up..Damien tried first and he had the same expression lol~

We decided to give up our seats for the waiting customers and the total bill came up to $83.05 for 5 persons, well not bad at all~ While we were at the cashier, Beast picked up some seeds from this glass placed and the seeds tasted minty and sweet. I wonder what this is but it really did freshen our mouths again o.0

In the next few days, everyone was craving for Sankranti again. We will be back!

2nd attempt on macarons ._.

Monday, January 19, 2009 Posted by YY on 12:22 AM comments (0)

K decided to attempt an online recipe on making macarons using italian meringue (pour hot sugar syrup into stiff egg white)method. He was confident of conquering the macarons and he set out on his task while I was cooking the pineapple tart jam over the stove.

However, it didn't work out fine when the intsructions said,"add the chocolate ganache into the italian meringue" cos the stiff eggwhite suddenly turned watery o.0

As the result this happened -> watery mixture, but we baked it anyway -> turned out feetless and cracked. K was disappointed and went on to play Beatmania to vent his frustration.

I wasn't about to give up and decided to use french meringue method since it was less troublesome. I preoccupied with beating the eggwhite and told K to mix in the dry ingredients (fine almond powder, icing sugar, choco powder).

Once the egg white got beaten to stiff stage, I turned over and ask,"Almond powder leh?" K replied nonchalantly,"Yah.. inside already"

As we piped the macarons out onto the baking sheet..

YY: "You grinded the almond powder already meh?"
K: "Eh no.."
K: "I thought won't succeed mah, so I never grind it lor" ._.
YY: "YOU SABO ME!" @%#&^@&%#^@$@$

We left the macarons to dry for the next 50mins *meanwhile I went to "screw" that koose upside down for sabotaging my macaron attempt*

After 50mins, the macarons were actually dry on the surface as though they were already baked..so this was what they meant by "surface is not sticky to touch anymore"??

The baked product above had uneven feet, duno if its due to rough almonds but the top didn't crack anymore.

I believe we are one tiny step closer to the Perfect Macaron.

Next week, we shall challenge each other again!
Italian meringue VS french meringue RAWR!!!!

1st attempt on pineapple tarts (17/01/09)

Sunday, January 18, 2009 Posted by YY on 11:45 PM comments (0)

We decided to re-attempt macarons today and due to the fact of leftover egg yolks, we had to do something that requires the YOLK but not the WHITE.

So~ pineapple tarts become part of the adventure as we struggled to make sense out of tonnes of macaron recipes available online.

Pineapple tarts with melt-in-your-mouth crust and pineapple jam adapted from this blog.

As the recipe used canned pineapples, we decided to go ahead and save ourselves the trouble.
Place 2 cans of pineapple cubes into the blender.

Blend into pulp and drain off the excess syrup.

Time to cook the pineapple jam..but first mix in the herbs and sugar. OMG~ how much sugar did the recipe say??

1 cup of pineapple : 1 cup of sugar OR 1 cup pineapple : 0.75 cup of sugar.
We have 2 cups of pineapple pulp here and since they came from the can, we will use 0.75 * 2 = 1.5 cups of sugar O_______O!!!

*No more pineapple tarts for me ever*

The sugar got dissolved into the pineapple pulp swiftly and we dropped in 1 cinnamon stick, 3 cloves and 1 segment of star anise. And not to forget 1/2 tbsp of lemon juice.

Cooking the pineapple jam over SLOW fire takes about 30-40mins *yawn*, keep stirring else its gonna stick to the bottom of the pot and get burnt. From several comments in the blog, we also noted that pineapple jam that were not cooked till dry(no more water) will get mouldy pretty soon..so we cooked till it was sticky and left it to cool.

Now the pastry dough, put in butter and icing sugar. *SPAR mixer in use*

Cream till cold butter cubes is pale in color, light and fluffy

Add in 1 yolk, vanilla essence and continue mixing.

Once the above is done, put in the plain flour and continue mixing until it becomes a dough.

Hmm~ it did turn into a dough. According to the blog post's comments, some people commented that the dough was too crumbly to roll and one suggestion was to add more butter to it, but we decided to give that option a pass cos we wanted to try the actual recipe *ok, we were lazy*

Let the dough rest in the fridge for 30mins.

It turns out that K has got cookie cutters chucked somewhere in his cabinets and WOOT its just the kind we use for pineapple tarts o.O

The dough proved to be a challenge to roll/*do anything* cos it was crumbly, but we pressed on using one piece for bottom and another for the top *to cover before rolling into a ball* and there we have it..larger than bite size PINEAPPLE BALLS! -_-'''

I must say K has a flair for cutting and printing using that cookie cutter, I didn't have complete patterns like his >=0

Apply egg glaze onto the cookies before baking.

The completed product.

Taste test:

30mins after the pineapple tarts were out of the oven:
YY: It's so crumbly that you got to eat it whole else it's gonna end up all over the place and you can't talk either cos the powder(from the crumbs) will be flying out of your mouth. -_-'' and it's not sweet *despite 1.5cups of sugar???*

K: It's melt in your mouth yum yum..but its not sweet enough, I can't taste the pineapple. O.O

Later in the night(same day):
K's mum: You should use fresh pineapples next time

K's sister: It's sweet but the pineapple flavour is not strong enough O_O

Two days later:
K: It tastes sweet now and the butter taste from the pastry is more obvious.

YY: *What?!* It tastes sweet now and the pastry is no longer dry and power like. Now this is weird.

1. Use fresh pineapples
2. Cook the pineapple jam with the spices all the way till dry instead of taking them out halfway which was what we did cos we were afraid that the spices may result in bitter aftertaste.
3. Add more butter to the crust pastry recipe.