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Archive for May 24th, 2009

Tarte aux Noix

Tarte aux Noix

I searched tarte aux noix online but couldn’t find out much about it because a lot of search results show the websites are not written in English. All I know is that it is a French tart. A lot of pictures online shows the tart is made with walnuts, but the recipe I followed uses almonds. Maybe there are several versions of tarte aux noix??…

Anyway, this recipe is from one of my cookbook titled “Oishiixtu!! Yakikashi” by Ikuko Omori (mine is Chinese version). When I was making the tart shell, I made a boo boo: I thought all tart pans are pretty much standard size, it’s only until I rolled out the dough that I realized my tart pan is quite larger than the suggested 18cm diameter by the recipe. Since the dough could barely cover the bottom of my large tart pan, I opted to use 2 small personal size tart pans instead. Next time when I make it again, I will increase the original recipe portion by 1.5. One thing worth mentioning: the tart shell recipe is very easy and doesn’t require chilling at all, and yet it is crispy and full of almond flavor even the next day. I think I might keep it as my default tart shell recipe.

Tarte aux Noix

Tarte aux Noix

Tarte aux Noix Recipe (makes 1 tart of 18cm diameter, or 2 small personal tarts)

Ingredients:

Tart shell:
2/3 cup cake flour
3 tbsp ground almond (with skin)– toasted
2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp unsalted butter (room temp.)
1 tbsp beaten egg

Almond cream:
1 tbsp cake flour
2/3 cup ground almond(with skin)– toasted
1/3 cup brown sugar
6 tbsp unsalted butter (room temp.)
1 beaten egg

2 tbsp raisin– soaked in rum, drained
2 tbsp chopped walnuts– toasted
1 tbsp rum
extra almond flakes to sprinkle on top

apricot jam for glazing (I didn’t have apricot jam, so I brushed the tart with remaining beaten egg from tart shell before baking)

Method:

Make tart shell:

  1. Combine cake flour and ground almond then set aside. Using a whisk, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Slowly add beaten egg, whisk to combine.
  2. Sift in 1/3 of flour mixture. Using a spatula gently mix the flour on the top, then press down the flour to the bottom of the bowl to combine. Repeat with the remaining flour in 2 batches. When all mixture starts to form a dough, take it out and shape it to a ball with both hands (avoid kneading the dough!).
  3. Put the round dough between 2 pieces of plastic wrap, roll it out large enough to fit tart pan. Remove plastic wrap and transfer the dough to tart pan and fold inwards any extra dough so all sides have same thickness.
  4. Brush the edge with egg wash, prick the bottom and side of tart and blind bake at preheated 350°F oven for 10-12 minutes. Cool the tart in the tart pan.

Make Tarte aux Noix:

  1. Cream butter and brown sugar with a whisk until fluffy. Slowly add beaten egg and whisk to combine.
  2. Add ground almond. Using a spatula, mix until all incorporated. Sift in cake flour and mix gently until just combined.
  3. Add raisin, walnuts and rum and mix gently.
  4. Pour filling into baked tart shell. Smooth the surface and sprinkle almond flakes on the top. (I brushed the top with remaining egg wash before baking since I don’t have apricot jam for glazing)
  5. Bake at preheated 350°F oven for 15-20 minutes until almond cream is nicely browned. Cool in the pan on the rack. When completely cool, glaze tart with apricot jam.

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Steamed Chives Dumplings

Steamed Chives Dumplings

I made soon kueh and had some leftover soon kueh skin dough, and I happened to have all ingredients needed to make chives pocket… so this was what I did:

Soon kueh skin dough + Chives filling = Steamed Chives Dumplings

I found the dumplings are not as soft the next day after heating up in microwave, maybe I should use a steamer instead… but I think I’d prefer pan-frying so the skin gets crunchy.

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Moist Banana Nut Bread

Moist Banana Nut Bread

Tired of making same old same old banana waffles so I gave this recipe a try, and it turned out to be a keeper! This recipe is from Martha Stewart. The bread is very moist (even the next day) because the use of sour cream. It is sweet but there’s also a hint of saltiness which makes it very flavorful. I like extra crunch so I added some more (well… alot more 🙂) walnuts on the top, mmm… yum! No doubt the bread will make it back to our kitchen whenever we have overripe bananas.

Moist Banana Nut Bread-- see chunks of bananas in there?

Moist Banana Nut Bread-- see chunks of bananas in there?

Moist Banana Nut Bread Recipe (makes 1 loaf 9x5x3 pan)– Recipe from Martha Stewart

Ingredients:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature, plus more for pan
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (I used 2 large bananas)
1/2 cup shredded coconut (optional)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (I used toasted chopped walnuts to mix with the batter, and some extra untoasted walnuts to sprinkle on top)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 °F. Butter a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan; set aside. Cream butter and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, and beat to incorporate.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the butter mixture, and mix until just combined. Add bananas, coconut, sour cream, and vanilla; mix to combine. Stir in nuts, and pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle extra nuts on top if using.
  3. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Let rest in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool.

Regina’s tips:

  • Bake the bread on medium low rack so it is position at the center of the oven.
  • Rotate the pan half way through baking to ensure even browning. If the top browns too quickly, cover with foil.

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