Yin Bakes

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Tag: recipe

Pineapple Tarts (Again!)

I had to make some pineapple tarts again. I just had to, since pineapples are cheap and plenty now (yay!) and there are no more pineapple tarts left to snack on in the house (boo!). So here I am, baking more tarts in the kitchen. This time, I decided to ditch the pineapple roll pastry press for my bare hands and shaping them into little balls instead for these babies.

Pineapple Tarts

My pineapples were overripe because I left them on the kitchen counter for too long. I didn’t add any sugar into my pineapple paste because it was so sweet on its own. Such a healthy fix, don’t you think? Hah! Who am I kidding? These babies were never meant to be healthy snacks.

Pineapple Tarts

I’ve never made the enclosed version of pineapple tarts, so here goes my maiden attempt at it. This recipe contains cream cheese and cream. Weird ingredients for pastry dough, I know. But trust me, they turned out so perfect I could almost cry! The pastry is not very fragile like the ones made of cornstarch, but they melt in your mouth oh-so well. They’re so creamy, highly fragrant and tasty… oh yum! I’m in love with them. I never really like enclosed tarts but these are really good. Even my family of picky eaters couldn’t agree more. This recipe’s a keeper for sure!

Pineapple Tarts (adapted from Table For 2… Or More)

Ingredients:

  • 250 grams unsalted butter
  • 170 grams cream (I used whipping cream)
  • 75 grams castor sugar
  • 400 grams cake flour
  • 30 grams cornstarch
  • 50 grams cream cheese
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 egg yolk for egg wash
  • Pineapple jam (see here)

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C and line a baking tray with grease-proof paper. Meanwhile, sift cake flour and cornstarch.

2. Using a cake mixer, cream the butter, cream cheese and sugar. When it comes together, pour in cream and whip them up on medium speed for about 10 minutes. Scrape the sides from time to time, beating them until you get a creamy mixture (they’ll look lumpy at first but don’t worry!).

3. Add in 3 egg yolks and beat for about 1 minute.

4. Add half of the flour mixture into the cream mixture and mix them on low speed until they come together. Add in the remaining flour and continue beating until you get a smooth dough. Do not over-mix.

5. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes so that it is more manageable when shaping. Chilling it in the refrigerator helps too.

6. In the meantime, shape the pineapple filling into small balls and keep them chilled afterwards.

7. Divide the dough into small balls roughly twice the size of the rolled pineapple fillings.

8. Wrap the pineapple fillings into the dough balls. Clean your hands from time to time as the jam will make your hands sticky and wet, making dough-shaping difficult.

9. Place the finished tarts on the prepared baking tray and brush them with egg wash.

10. Bake them for 15 minutes. Turn the baking tray 180° and continue to bake for 2 more minutes or until they turn golden brown. Leave to cool before storing.

Pineapple Tarts

I am submitting this post to Chinese New Year Delights 2013 hosted by Sonia aka Nasi Lemak Lover. This post is also linked to the event, Little Thumbs Up organised by Doreen from My Little Favourite DIY and Bake For Happy Kids. The theme of this month is ‘Pineapple’! Join in the fun if you bake or cook anything with pineapple this month!

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Banana Chiffon Cake

Chiffon cakes are foolproof cakes. At least they are for me. I can simply whip them up and they always turn out perfectly. You can make chiffon cakes work for you too, if you know how to beat your egg whites right. I used to have problems with beating egg whites till stiff peaks, that is I would over-beat them till they dry out, or that they don’t reach the stiff peak stage at all. That’s a bummer, but with a lot of practice (and many failed recipes and deflated cakes later), I have finally mastered how to whip my egg whites right.

I love bananas. So much that I had to have them everyday. You would probably have notice that by now, since my blog header is of a bunch of bananas (hah!). In my family, we rarely have any leftover bananas – they will be all gone within a day or two if we bought any from the fruit stall. What we would do is to buy extra bunches of ripe bananas just for baking and leave them to ripe further on the kitchen table. Bananas go well with anything, and they are especially tasty in cakes. No one in the right mind could resist a good banana cake. Oh, and the aroma of freshly baked banana cake wafting from the oven… YUM!

A chiffon cake made with overripe bananas is even better than your regular banana bread. Banana breads are dense, moist and a bit too heavy to digest. On the other hand, chiffon cakes are soft, airy, light and fluffy – just like cotton, you get the gist. You can have slice after slice of it and never feel too full. Perfect as a good, light snack. Or breakfast, since I prefer having a light meal to start my day off.

Banana Chiffon Cake (adapted from Christine)

Preparations:

  1. Prepare an 8 inch (20 cm) chiffon tube pan. DO NOT grease or oil the mould. You want the cake to stick to the mould so it will not fall out when you invert the mould to cool.
  2. Preheat your oven to 165°C.

Ingredients:

  • 80 grams cake flour
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 14 grams castor sugar
  • 35 grams vegetable oil
  • 45 grams milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ripe bananas, about 240 grams
  • 4 egg whites
  • 40 grams castor sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Method:

1. Use a blender or a food processor to process the bananas into a purée. Set the banana purée aside.

2. Mix the egg yolks with 14 grams of sugar until smooth. Add oil, milk and mashed bananas. Combine them very well. Sift in cake flour, incorporate all ingredients well until you get a smooth batter.

3. Use an electric mixer to beat egg whites first for a while until bubbles form. Add cream of tartar. Add one-third of the 40 grams of sugar at a time. Beat well between the adds, until stiff peaks form. You will know when your egg whites are well beaten if you can invert the bowl and the egg whites will not fall out. Also, the meringue should look glossy.

4. Fold in the egg whites gently into the batter. Add one-third of egg whites at a time in order to easily incorporate the egg whites.

5. Transfer the batter into the cake pan. Pop it into the preheated oven and bake for 55 to 60 minutes. Test it by an inserted skewer coming out clean.

6. Remove from oven and immediately invert the cake mould on a wire rack to cool and prevent it from sinking. Let it cool completely. Carefully remove from the cake mould. Enjoy!

Pineapple Tarts

Pineapple tarts are my favourite new year treat. Just thinking about them makes my mouth water. These bite-size treats are so popular that they are sold in many variations: the closed, open-face or rolled (Nastar) types. Heck, I just found out about a certain Taiwanese version of this snack. They are more like shortbreads and contain a slightly different filling, but let’s not go to that now. I prefer the rolled or Nastar variation. They are very addictive. I baked a few trays of these and they were all finished in a day, no joke. They are crumbly, buttery and filled with a decadent filling. What’s not to love about them?

First, you need to make some pineapple jam or paste. I find commercially sold ones lack the tangy, sour taste of pineapples and that they are loaded with too much sugar or glucose syrup. While you can buy ready-made pineapple paste in stores, nothing beats having freshly made jam at home. Cooking your own jam is simple but tedious and time-consuming. You have to be prepared to stand over a warm stove for about an hour or more. If you have the luxury of time, jam-making is so rewarding. Just because you get to eat the remains of jam in the pot at the end (ha!).

I like grating my pineapples, for the texture. You will get really fibrous, chewy jam if you grate them. But if you’re lazy or are pressed for time (because grating them by hand takes up a lot of time) and want an easy way out, you can blend them in a food processor or a blender, though I highly recommend that you grate them. Takes a while, but it will be so worth it. I prefer mine without any additional spices (cinnamon sticks and cloves). Just pure, pineapple goodness.

Pineapple Jam (adapted from My Cooking Hut)

Ingredients:

2 half-ripe pineapples, grated
80 grams granulated sugar (adjust according to your preference)

Method:

1. Skin the pineapple and remove the “eyes”. Cut each pineapple into quarters lengthwise. Grate the pineapple using a grater until you reach the core. You may choose to wear plastic gloves to protect your hands from the acidity of the pineapples. Discard the core.

2. Drain the grated pineapples using a large sieve. Use a ladle to press the juice out until it is 90% dried up. Retain the pineapple juice for cooking later. Use a wooden spoon, cook the grated and drained pineapples, putting in half portion of the sugar in a large pot under moderate-high heat until it begins to boil. Once it has boiled, reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook, stirring occasionally to not allow it to burn.

3. Start adding the pineapple juice to the pot a ladle at a time until all the juice have been boiled away. The juice will start to evaporate and dry out. Repeat this step until all the juice are completely used up.

4. When all the juice are used up and the mixture has started to look dry and caramelized, reduce the heat to low. Add the remaining sugar bit by bit until the desired sweetness is achieved. This step can be done close to the end of the cooking. Keep stirring until the mixture is almost dry and sticky with a golden-hue. This will take about 1-1½ hours, depending on the amount you make and the surface area of the pot you use.

5. Take note that the jam will continue to thicken after it is cooled so it is best not to overcook the mixture. It is better to undercook it for you can always put it back on the heat if it is still not at the right consistency.

6. Set the pineapple jam aside to cool. After it has been cooled, store it in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. It can be kept for up to 3-4 weeks.

It is advisable that you prepare the pineapple jam a day before as it takes about an hour or more to cook and a few more hours to cool it. If you decided to hand-grate your pineapples, that will take up a whole chunk of your day too. Once the jam is done, you can proceed with making the pastry. I like my pastry to have that melt-in-the-mouth and crumbly feeling. Oh-so yummy. It complements the jam really well, and makes you just want to reach out for another piece. And another. And another. Oh, what a vicious cycle!

Pineapple Tarts (adapted from My Cooking Hut)

Ingredients:

250 grams unsalted butter, softened
50 grams icing sugar
2 egg yolks
360 grams plain flour mixed with 2 tbsp corn flour (sifted)
¼ teaspoon salt
Pineapple filling (take 6 g or ½ teaspoon heapful of filling and shape into a small elongated roll)
1 egg for egg wash

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 160°C and line a baking tray with grease-proof paper. Meanwhile, cream the butter and the icing sugar until light. Beat in egg yolks, one at a time. Add in salt and beat until fluffy.

2. Fold in sifted ingredients (divided into 2-3 batches) and mix till it becomes a firm dough. Leave aside for 30 minutes. Put the dough into a pineapple roll pastry press or mould, and then press out into a strip of 5 cm length.

3. Place the pineapple filing at one end and roll up the pastry, as in a Swiss roll, enough to enclose the jam. Do not overlap the pastry. Cut off the excess pastry. Put the rolls on the baking tray. Brush with egg wash. Repeat the process with the remaining dough and jam.

4. Bake them for 15 minutes. Turn the baking tray 180° and continue to bake for 2 more minutes or until they turn golden brown. Leave to cool before storing.

I am submitting this post to Chinese New Year Delights 2013 hosted by Sonia aka Nasi Lemak Lover. This post is also linked to the event, Little Thumbs Up organised by Doreen from My Little Favourite DIY and Bake For Happy Kids. The theme of this month is ‘Pineapple’! Join in the fun if you bake or cook anything with pineapple this month!