Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Blueberry Snow Skin Mooncake with Chocolate and Strawberry Filling

Mooncake season is here and I've always like those little golden pillows of lotus paste and pandan paste and red bean paste. Until a few years ago you could only find two or three traditional types of mooncakes but now you can find all sorts of new Snow Skin mooncakes or otherwise known as Ping Pi Mooncake. They are completely different from eating the traditional ones as they are usually eaten chilled and the texture of the skin is soft and chewy and much like lo mai chi or mochi. And instead of having just the plain filling with a salted egg you can now have fruity fillings like strawberry, banana, blueberry, pandan and even durian!

So this Mid Autumn Festival or Mooncake Festival I've decided to give it a try and make my own Snow Skin Mooncakes and I guess the hardness thing to come up with is what type of filling to put in it. 

Blueberry Snow Skin Mooncake with Chocolate and Strawberry Filling! This is my first attempt at making this.... a very messy but rewarding job.

It was a little tricky getting the mooncakes out of the mould but it turned out ok.

The main ingredient: Glutinous Rice Flour, Rice Flour and Lotus Paste. There are so many moulds to choose from with different patterns. 

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Chocolate Banana Custard Pie

With everyone having their own favourite things to eat for dessert. I wanted to combine all of them together and this is what I came up with. I have been wanting to make a banana cream pie so I use that for inspiration when I came up with this creation. 

Chocolate for Tristan, Custard for hubby and Ashley and bananas for Jacob. 
CHocolate + Custard + Bananas = Chocolate Banana Custard Pie!
I combined all the flavours but still tried to keep them separate and instead of mashing the banana to make it into a real banana custard I laid a layer of sliced bananas on the bottom of the pie and laid a layer on top of the custard. It went pretty well and hubby thought I had mashed them but the older kids asked me why I had put mushrooms in the custard. They didn't realise that it was bananas and I couldn't believe they had thought I had put mushrooms in their custard pie....really!

Chocolate Banana Custard Pie
1 cup plain flour
80 g butter
1 egg
2tbsp sugar
1/3 cup custard powder
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups milk
3 bananas
100g dark chocolate
1tbsp plain yogurt

1. Using a mixing bowl, add the flour, sugar and butter and rub together until they look like breadcrumbs. Add the egg and knead it until it forms a smooth dough. If it gets a bit sticky just add a bit more flour. 
2. Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a 23cm pie dish and roll out the dough to fit the pie dish. You can place a layer of greaseproof paper and some beans or rice onto the pie dough and bake for 10 mins. Remove and set aside.
3. Using a medium saucepan, pour in the milk and mix in the custard powder and sugar. Stir it continuously and bring to a simmer. Keep stirring so that the custard doesn't stick to the saucepan and remove once the custard is very thick. Leave the custard to cool down for about 10 mins.
4. Slice 2 bananas into thin slices and then place a layer onto the pie crust. Pour the custard over the bananas and then slice the remaining banana and lay them on top of the custard layer. 
5. Gently melt the dark chocolate and when it has melted add the yogurt and stir until combined. Using a spoon to gently drizzle the chocolate over the pie. Put the pie in the fridge to cool down for about 2 hours before serving.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Alfabeto Pasta Soup

It's a perfect day for soup. A cool, overcast sky and the rains just waiting to fall. A bowl of soup is what is going to keep us warm for lunch. 

Some tomato, chicken stock and lots and lots of alfabeto pasta and we have a bowl of alfabeto soup. Would you like to have some soup?

Alfabeto Pasta Soup

1 1/2 cup Alfabeto pasta
1 large tomato, roughly chopped
300g chicken breast, thinly diced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
410g tomato puree
1.5 L chicken stock
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
1 1/2 tsp sugar
50 g butter
salt and pepper to taste

1. Finely chop the onion and garlic. Add them to a saucepan of melted butter. Stir until soften and then add the chicken. Add the basil and paprika and stir until the chicken is cooked.
2. Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, chicken stock and sugar and gently stir. Add the pasta and bring it to the boil. Keep stirring, reduce the heat and gently simmer for about 8 mins. If you need to add more liquid just add a bit more water. The soup should be nice and thick more like a meal than a soup. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Apple Pie

We were invited over for dinner at a friend's place and I always love to bring over something as a little thank you gift. I just love making pies. Apples pies are my favourite ones to make. Apple filling piled up high and sweet shortcrust pastry with a huge dollop of vanilla ice cream. 

I had actually planned to make this apple pie just the family but when hubby told me about our dinner invitation I immediately thought of saving this pie to share with our friends. 

Apple Pie

180 g butter, cold
2 cups plain flour
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup icing sugar
2-3 tbsp cold water
1 tbsp milk
10-12 medium granny smith apples
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup sultanas

1. Using a mixing bowl, add flour, icing sugar and cold butter. Rub in the butter until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolks and the water and combine until it forms a dough. If the dough is sticky just add some more flour. 
2. Knead it on a lightly floured surface until it is smooth. Divide the dough into half and roll  out the dough to place on a greased 23cm pie dish. I would sometimes just flatten portions of dough on my hand and just roughly cover the pie dish. It gives it a rustic look and I sometimes do it this way to save on rolling out the dough. Set aside the remaining dough and pie dish in the fridge.
3. Filling
Peel the apples and cut them into thick slices. I found this really great apple cutter at Ikea and it just cuts the apple into perfect slices and cores the apple at the same time. Put the apple slices into a sauce pan. Add the sugar and sultanas and heat the pan over med/high heat and constantly stir so that the sugar does not burn. I don't usually add water as I find it makes the pie to watery. You have to constantly stir the apples and you will see that the moisture will come out of the apple and then you will have to cook the apples until the sauce thickens and reduces. Set it aside to cool and when it has cooled down continue with the pie making.
4. Preheat the oven to 180C. Take out the pie dish and remaining dough. Fill the pie dish with the apple filling. Roll out the remaining dough to form a cover for the pie. Seal the edges and poke a few holes with a fork. I usually have some dough left over so I would normally use it to decorate the pie. Brush over the pie with the milk and sprinkle the pie with some cinnamon and sugar. Bake for 30mins or until the pie is golden brown.


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