we celebrated the birthday of one of my favourite boys tonight. as a matter of formality, i asked what he wanted and he mentioned “that peanut butter dessert we had in KL two years back.” i tried my best to recall what comprised the tart we had at this nice little cafe at bangsar village. i knew there was peanut butter, bananas and some semblance of a custard. (there’s a picture on the website; i know my rendition of it is way off)
initially i wanted to modify dorie greenspan’s banana cream pie recipe, but i always find myself a little turned off by her long instructions. i appreciate her detail but sometimes i’d rather follow a recipe that has minimal steps (there you go, the lazy streak in me). that resulted in me pulling out the tried-and-tested donna hay’s sweet shortcrust pastry and creme patissiere recipes. the peanut butter frosting was a mixture of butter, peanut butter and icing sugar – no exact amounts; a sheer matter of estimation.
the boys, being boys, gave raving reviews. my only gripe was that i should’ve used del monte bananas instead of malaysian bananas, but i can’t complain since i asked my dad to buy them.
my mum had a batch of sweet shortcrust pastry lying around, so i decided to make these little babies. when i was in KL last weekend i managed to pick up a copy of a better homes and gardens special publication – “ultimate cookies”; over 200 recipes, and it only cost RM9.90!
first, have a batch of sweet shortcrust pastry ready. a tried and tested recipe is donna hay’s, which you can find here. then, proceed to prepare the filling:
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
2 tbsp butter
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
4 tbsp peanut butter
1. preheat oven to 170 degrees celsius. grease 24 mini muffin cups. divide dough into balls and press evenly into bottoms and up the sides of the prepared muffin cups.
2. for filling, in a small saucepan, heat and stir chocolate, butter and peanut butter over low heat until just melted. remove from heat. stir in egg, sugar and vanilla until well combined. divide chocolate filling among muffin cups.
3. bake for 25-30 minutes or until crust is golden and filling is puffed. cool in muffin cups on a wire rack for 10 minutes. carefully remove tartlets from the muffin cups and cool completely on the wire rack.
these cupcakes were good even when they were unfrosted. recipe from here. i omitted the nutmeg, added only about 1 tsp of orange zest and used tinned sliced peaches. (no exact measurements, i just chopped up about 10-12 slices)
the pastry base cracked because i yanked it off the mould a tad too hard; it’s not apparent in the picture but i’m sure it’ll give way once it’s cut! eeeeks.
these will be brought to a hari raya lunch at a coursemate’s house tomorrow; hope they’ll taste fine!
yesterday, a friend and i had a bit of time to kill before meeting up with another friend for dinner. i told him i wanted substantial dessert because i was feeling quite down and there’s nothing chocolate cannot cure… so we dropped by this pretty little place. 😉
i got to know about the man and his shop from a chocolate-tasting workshop my mother and i attended sometime last year (or was it early this year, i can’t quite remember). at the workshop, he made his signature souffles but unfortunately yesterday the shop’s kitchen was closed.
i had the vienna’s chocolate ($7.80++), but i felt it was too bitter for me. my friend who had the classic hot chocolate ($7.80++) enjoyed it to the last drop, though. 🙂 i am not a fan of dark/bitter chocolate, so i guess next time i’ll pass on that.
the desserts blew us off. we shared a chocolate truffle cake ($6.20++) and a chocolate tart ($6.20++). the cake was sufficiently moist and the ganache was superb. the raspberry coulis was a great accompaniment. the tart had a layer of pralines (i think), and then a substantial amount of smooth ganache, finally topped with silky chocolate glaze. we were in seventh heaven.
i really want to go back there and have the chocolate souffle.
i baked a tarte noire (literally translated – black tart) last week but i was so caught up with my first week doing relief teaching that i couldn’t find the time to do a proper post. any free time was either spent meeting up with dear friends for coffee or, you guessed it – sleeping.
i made a whole 7 inch tart for the boy, and two mini ones for myself and shidah – a symbolic mark of the end of our undergraduate journey.
since the jc girls are getting together this week for a birthday dinner (my partner-in-crime will be the one baking a cake this time), i didn’t want to overload the birthday girl with cakey stuff. in an sms she said that she’d prefer “fruity” to “chocolatey” so i decided on making a fresh fruit tart for her to savour with her family.
i was playing around with fruit combinations and settled on strawberries and blueberries.
i found out about the existence of quiches when i was a kid, leafing through my mother’s collated recipe book that she and her students use for food and nutrition classes. all i could remember was spinach quiche – i picture green mush… and then i stop there. (mum, if this account is not accurate please forgive me)
maybe that was the primary reason why i never bothered much about quiches, up till around less than two years ago. the boy and i discovered a pleasant quiche at coffee bean; the shiitake mushroom one. we’d eat that when we’re sick of cheesecakes and chocolate cakes.
i finally decided to make one, since we’re having a picnic tomorrow to celebrate his “birthday.” i adapted evan’s recipe, and i’m glad to say that it turned out rather well, according to my taste. i forgot to add the parmesan cheese though! i think i’d sprinkle some on top when reheating it tomorrow.
i had half a tub of mascarpone sitting in the fridge, so i googled for recipes. came across this simple recipe. (no bake!) i did a few modifications – i used digestives, upped the vanilla essence to 1/4 teaspoon, used disposable foil tart cases and added diced canned peaches on top of the strawberries.
the tarts were great – the mascarpone base is so light and creamy, it doesn’t leave that cloying “full” feeling. the crust is crumbly because the ratio of butter to biscuit was quite low, but surprisingly it was nice that way.
this was a pre-order-practice attempt, and i’m glad to say it generally turned out well. i looked through evan’s blog and decided to use the sweet shortcrust pastry and creme patissiere recipes that she posted. i need to lay my hands on that donna hay book fast.
the creme patissiere tasted good, although i felt it was a little thick. but it had no lumps at all! and the consistency was very good, with just the right amount of sweetness. and the baked pastry chipped at one section of the pie, probably the crust was too thin up the sides. but i really like the taste of it on the whole. 🙂 now i really need to work on a chicken pie. (i can see the boy nodding vigorously; i’ve promised him that since forever!)
and yes, an update. i know i set the “closed-order” period on the 25th, but now, i have orders running up till then, so i’m afraid i have to stop taking orders. but i promise i’ll be up and running (full steam!) on the 6th of december. however, you can still email me for orders needed after the 6th of december. thank you for your understanding!