9:00 AM

I hear tarts~~ (Dairy Free Crostata)

The 2010 November Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Simona of briciole. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make pasta frolla for a crostata. She used her own experience as a source, as well as information from Pellegrino Artusi’s Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well.

Crostata.. what a beautiful word...
It reminds me of something rough, and traditional, and most of all, the name itself sounds delish.

Crostata is basically Italian tarts. One that's traditionally made without the tart tin. And are often filled with pastry cream and fruits; but it can really be filled with anything you fancy.

Dairy-Free Pasta Frolla

90 g Powdered Sugar
235 g All-purpose flour
A pinch of salt
115 g Vegetable Shortening (Cold)
Grated zest of half a lemon
1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten in a small bowl

Making Pastry by hand:

1. Whisk together sugar, flour and salt in a bowl.
2. Rub the shortening into the flour until the mixture has the consistency of coarse crumbs. You can do this in the bowl or on your work surface, using your fingertips or an implement of choice.
3. Make a well in the center of the mounded flour and butter mixture and pour the beaten eggs into it (reserve about a teaspoon of the egg mixture for glazing purposes later on – place in the refrigerator, covered, until ready to use).
4. Add the lemon zest to your flour/butter/egg mixture.
5. Use a fork to incorporate the liquid into the solid ingredients, and then use your fingertips.
6. Knead lightly just until the dough comes together into a ball.
7. Shape the dough into a flat disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Place the dough in the refrigerator and chill for at least two hours. You can refrigerate the dough overnight.

Filling (Plums)

3 Small Plums, stoned and sliced
Zest of Half a lemon
Juice of Half a lemon
1 tbsp Sugar

Mix all the ingredients together. Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate until ready to use.

Filling (Cinnamon Apple)

2 Apples, peeled and sliced
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tbsp Sugar

Mix all together. (I would not recommend making this too far ahead of time, to prevent the apples from browning before they're ready to be used.)

Assembling Crostata

(Makes 8 small (palm-sized) crostata)
1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
2. Divide the dough evenly into eight (8).
3.  To help roll the crostata dough, keep the dough in between two plastic wrap, or a large enough plastic bag. This can help rolling the dough and can seriously reduce the mess (and save flour. =P)
4. Roll the dough into roughly a circle.
5. Transfer to baking sheet.
6. Brush with eggwash.
7. Scoop in some of the filling, making sure there's at least 1 inch margin to allow the dough to be folded over.
8. Fold in the edges to create a pocket-like look. (This not only looks pretty, but keeps the juice in as well.)
9. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. (Do keep an eye on the oven, you don't want to burn them.>.<)
10. Breath in the gorgeous smell of your crostata.
11. Tuck in using your fingers. (If you want to appear at least a bit civilised, I'd say use a fork.)

7:32 PM

Chocolate Cookies, revisited~~

For the people around me, one of my favourite things to make is Chocolate Cookies . I can make a huge batch of the dough, wrap them up nicely in clingfilm, and whenever someone comes around, in they go into the oven, and voila.... Freshly baked heaven.

The last time I made these, I omitted the chips and made their shape more uniform... 

This time, in go the chips with no reservation. And they look......friendlier to me, in their weird funky shapes. 


7:24 PM

Sugar Cookies~~

I've always wanted to try making sugar cookies. But the name of them scared me, believe it or not.

"Sugar" Cookies...... does that mean, they're incredibly sweet? Does that mean they have an abundance of sugar? Just like how butter is the dominant ingredient in butter cookies?

And I've always been afraid to decorate, because half the time I feel that my decoration ruins the look. >.<

But here it is.I finally made it.  The recipe I used is from Bake at 350 here:

Sugar Cookies


3 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup sugar
 2 sticks (salted) butter, cold
 1 egg
 3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 180°C.

2. Combine the flour and baking powder, set aside.

3. Cream the sugar and butter. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix.

4. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat just until combined.

5. Roll onto a floured surface and cut into shapes. Place on parchment lined baking sheets (I stuck the cut-out cookies on the baking sheet into the freezer for about 5-10 minutes before baking, I think this helped hold the shape) and bake for 10-12 minutes. Let sit a few minutes on the sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack.

6. Then decorate.

I melted down chocolate and just dipped them in.

And mixed some icing sugar and water with some colouring to make basic shapes on the cookie. (I was too preoccupied with the icing at this point to take photos. And I totally forgot until I gave them away. o.0)